File photo: Palestinian cabinet meeting

Palestinian Cabinet: Fundamental rights are not for bargaining

PNN/ Ramallah/

The Palestinian Cabinet during its weekly meeting on Tuesday reiterated full support to the speech of President Abbas at the United Nations, upholds the decision of the Palestinian leadership to appeal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and reviews the outcomes of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting.

The Palestinian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al- Hamdallah reiterated its full support to President Mahmoud Abbas speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and considered it a comprehensive speech that highlighted the core elements of the International Law, UN resolutions protecting Palestinian rights and the Arab peace initiative.

In addition, it stressed that the Palestinian fundamental rights are not open to bargaining, primarily the right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the importance of finding a complete solution to the refugees’ issue based on UNGA Resolution No. 194.

The cabinet also announced to mobilize support for endorsing the initiative of President Abbas to hold an international peace conference this year, with the formation of a multilateral international mechanism to solve all permanent status issues and restore hopes for peace, and reaffirmed its total support to the Palestinian leadership efforts in submitting a new appeal to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding the Trump administration decision to move its embassy from “Tel Aviv” to occupied Jerusalem in a direct violation to the International Law and globally recognized agreements.

The cabinet welcomed the decision of the Group of 77, which represents 134 member countries at the United Nations, to endorse President Mahmoud Abbas and the State of Palestine to chair the Group in 2019. The Cabinet announced that the Palestinian Government would exert all possible efforts in cooperation with related bodies to facilities and achieve the objectives of the Group.

The cabinet Discussed the meeting of Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al- Hamdallah with the AHLC held in New York last week. The meeting concentrated on building and strengthening the Palestinian economy by ending the Israeli occupation, which is the main obstacle to economic growth and development in the State of Palestine. The meeting stressed strengthening the rule of law, enabling the Government control over the so-called Area “C”, ending the ongoing, illegal blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, and facilitating the transfer and flow of goods between the West Bank and the Strip. In addition, facilitating both exports and imports movement, expanding the fishing area in the Gaza strip, and maintaining access to implement solar energy projects, as well as reducing dependence on donor countries and ensuring access to natural resources in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Moreover, the meeting advised to carry investments in industrial areas and to review the Paris Convention and taxes system for Palestinian businesses. In this regard, the Cabinet noted that despite the reduction of international aid to more than 60%, and the illegal Israeli control of 65% of the Palestinian tax revenues, the Government was able to stretch its institutions over the past five years and to keep the debts of local banks at a minimum level of 10% of the GDP. Tax rates were reduced gradually from 20% to 10% for the vast majority of taxpayers too. The Government also succeeded to maintain its responsibilities towards its citizens, reduce spending and fiscal deficit from 15% to 4% of the national GDP.

On another hand, the cabinet hailed the statement of the AHLC, which commended the financial performance and reforms of the Palestinian Government and welcomed the progress made by the Government in developing a long-term vision through the National Policy Agenda for the years 2017-2022. The AHLC also urged donor countries to cover the deficit in the Government’s general budget and to meet their financial commitment for the Gaza Reconstruction process. The AHLC stressed the need to end all outstanding financial files with the Israeli side. Moreover, the Committee urged both the Israeli and Palestinian sides to reach agreements on establishing projects that contribute to the development of the Palestinian economy, especially in the water and energy sectors. It also demanded that Israel should cease its restrictions against the Palestinian Government to enable its work in the so-called Area “C”.


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