File photo: Palestinian cabinet meeting

Palestinian cabinet condemns US veto against draft resolution to halt Israeli aggression on Gaza

 PNN/ Ramallah/ 

 The Palestinian Cabinet condemns the Trump Administration for using its veto power in the UN Security Council, condemns Israel for banning on members of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalists from entering Palestine to participate in the International Media Conference, commends Kuwait for supporting the general budget of the Palestinian Government and for increasing its financial aid to the UNRWA, and hails the UN General Assembly for adopting seven resolutions in favor of Palestine.

 During its weekly meeting held in Ramallah today, the Palestinian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah,

Condemned the Trump Administration for using its veto power in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) against a draft resolution that calls for an immediate international intervention to halt the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, which caused damages to 1552 housing units at 5 million dollars cost upon initial estimation records. “This move is a mockery of the international community and a bias to the Israeli aggression,” the Cabinet declared. “The UN Security Council enables the US through its veto power to prevent and obstruct any form of measures that may or may not be taken by the Security Council, which weakens its role in promoting peace and security and preventing violations against the oppressed nations or those under occupation,” the Cabinet added.

Deplored the draft resolution presented by the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Nicky Hillley, to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on condemning Hamas for its continued incitement to violence and bombing attacks against Israel, demanding the UN Secretary-General and international parties to end the current aggression. The Cabinet held Israel, the Occupying Power, responsible for the ongoing occupation and colonial settlements, the blockade, closures, field executions, illegal arrests and ethnic cleansing, and all other crimes and illegal practices, which the US Administration rejects to condemn.

-Hailed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for adopting by large majority seven resolutions in favor of Palestine that include; providing international assistance to the Palestinian citizens, and a resolution on the status of Palestinian refugees and their legitimate rights upon the international law. Further, a resolution on the operation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA), and a resolution on the properties and revenues of Palestinian citizens. The UNGA also adopted a resolution on investigating Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian citizens, and a resolution on the right of the Palestinian citizens to international protection, and another resolution on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory. “The international community, through voting for such resolutions, affirms its support to the Palestinian issue, despite the contradictory efforts of the US administration in the international forums. We stress the historic responsibility of the United Nations and its role towards the Palestinian issue, and in implementing the UN resolutions, and in exposing the illegal practices and policies of Israel, the Occupying Power,” The Cabinet noted.

Rejected the decision of the so-called “Israeli Supreme Court” to approve the demolition of the ‘Tahadi 5’ school in Beit Ta’mur village. The Cabinet emphasized that all such decisions are clear attempts to undermine the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the role of the Palestinian Government. The Cabinet also condemned the Israeli decision to evacuate 28 dunums of Palestinian land at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied Jerusalem, home to more than 500 Palestinians, despite all documents proving the Palestinian ownership of these lands. Yet, the Cabinet criticized the Israeli Occupying Forces for (IOF) for demolishing a number of shops in Shu’fat refugee camp in central Jerusalem and for bombing dozens of houses and shops in Deir al-Ghusoun town, north of Tulkarem.

Condemned Israel, the Occupying Power, for banning on members of the Executive Committee of the International Federation of Journalists, the Union of Tunisian Journalists, the Union of Arab Journalists and the General Union of Arab Journalists from entering Palestine to participate in the International Media Conference. The Cabinet also deplored the aggression committed by the Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) against a Peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian and international journalists near the Qalandia checkpoint. The Cabinet also expressed its hopes that the International Media Conference will establish a serious and united international effort to pressure Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop its violations against journalists and to lift restrictions and injustice against them.

Expressed its deep gratitude to Kuwait for supporting the budget of the State of Palestine with $50 million and for contributing an additional $42 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Commended announcement of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Mr. Pierre Krähenbühl for reducing the financial deficit of the Agency from $446 to $21 million for the current year of 2018. The Cabinet expressed its appreciation for the financial and political support provided by various countries and international institutions. The Cabinet also called upon the international community to continue providing funds and assistance to the UNRWA, especially the financial support during the upcoming year, to enable it to fulfill its mandate towards the Palestinian refugees.

 

Reviewed the meeting of Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah with representatives of a number of donor countries to East Jerusalem and the so-called “Area C” including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Finland, Norway, Sweden and Austria. PM Al-Hamdallah updated these representatives on the current political and economic situation and the Israeli violations, especially in-occupied Jerusalem and the so-called “Area C” that is controlled by Israel, which prevent the Palestinian Government from utilizing its own resources and investments there. PM Al-Hamdallah also briefed the delegation on the efforts of the Palestinian Governments to counter the Israeli measures and to support the steadfastness of Palestinian citizens living in the so- called “Area C”. Dr. Al-Hamdallah pointed out that the Government focused on providing basic services, building schools, providing transportation for students, allocating mobile clinics and granting free health insurance, especially in Bedouin communities, supporting the agricultural sector through farmer funds, and accelerating the registration of land and the establishment of irrigation networks and agricultural roads. Upon this, an additional grant of $7 million for the Support and Sustainability of Citizens in “Areas C” and East Jerusalem program were contributed.  This contribution will focus on economic empowerment, employment, education, housing, tourism and cultural activities. It will also target the youth, women and people with disabilities, so about 20,000 people living in East Jerusalem are expected to benefit from these interventions, in addition to 6,000 Palestinians, particularly within the Bedouin community in the so- called “Area C”.

Reaffirmed that the Social Security Law is an important and necessary national law that provide safety and works as a lifeline for the poor, marginalized, and hundreds of thousands of workers in the private sector and all other sectors to which the law applies. Further, it requires the employers to ensure that the appropriate conditions, means of protection and safety are provided to their workers and employees, which also benefit the employers themselves. Additionally, it will guarantee that the workers and employees or their families will receive an income upon reaching the retirement age. Yet, it will retain more than 70% of the service benefits for employees who did not receive their end of service packages as well as protecting the rights of Palestinian workers in Israel since 1970 until now, which will return to the Social Security Corporation and not to the treasury of the Government as some people claim. The savings and fees for these workers and employees are the rights of individual workers, and if transferred to the Palestinian Social Security Fund will be transformed by a list that includes the name of the worker, his working years, and his dues or end of service package. The worker can obtain this package upon request. “The Social Security Law was planned in coordination and approval of all relevant parties and stakeholders, which came after several stages that led to its current formulation. Yet, the first draft of the law was also subjected to a large community dialogue that resulted in amendments, which made the law more equitable for workers in terms of deduction rates, covered categories, and benefits provided. In addition, the drafted law was not submitted to President Abbas for ratification until reaching a collective agreement between stakeholders on all raised comments and amendments.”

Assured that the President has instructed the Government to evaluate the Social Security Law like any other vital laws that touch the lives and rights of the citizens for the purpose of further development and improvements, which is taking place through the formed Ministerial Committee that developed an intensive program for dialogue with all relevant stakeholders. Yet, the Government is facing calls to reject and boycott the dialogue, which confirms the insincere intentions and that the protests are not abstract and restricted in some provisions of the law as it claims, but rather it aims to hinder any national achievement even at the expense of the  poor and marginalized workers.