Palestinian cabinet confirms readiness to hold general elections

PNN/ Ramallah/

The Palestinian Cabinet confirmed readiness of the government to implement the decision of President Abbas to hold general elections, and announced that a large ministerial delegation will be heading to Cairo next week for the first official visit to Egypt since 1994 to discuss economic cooperation.

In his opening statement, during the weekly Cabinet meeting held in Ramallah on Monday, Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh confirmed the readiness of his government to implement all necessary procedures and conduct needed preparations to implement the decision of President Mahmoud Abbas to hold general elections.

“The government is totally ready to implement the decision of President Abbas once he issues a decree to hold general elections amid the current situation during which we are in need of our national unity in order to face the dangerous phase of our issue,” Dr Shtayyeh stated. “Some parties want our issue to recede to the pre-Oslo Accords, but we aim to preserve our national achievements,” Dr. Shtayyeh pointed out.

The Cabinet announced that under the supervision of President Abbas and upon the invitation of Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly, a large ministerial delegation, headed by Dr. Shtayyeh, will pay an official visit to Cairo next week for the first time since 1994 to discuss possible future cooperation between Palestine and Egypt in many sectors as part of strengthening the strategic relationship with the Arab world.

In a different context, Shtayyeh expressed gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, Qatar and all Arab countries for their support to Palestine, and praised the financial backup provided by the Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds Funds to Palestine, during its 76th annual meeting held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, at a worth of $50 to implement development projects in Palestine, especially in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

On the outcomes of the AHLC meetings, the premier clarified that “under the supervision of President Abbas, we have conducted several meetings with donor countries, except the United States, which was absent from these meetings for the first time since 1994, in an attempt to dissolve this important international platform for the Palestinian issue, but the international community insisted on renewing the mandate of the UNRWA and provide it with necessary funding until the return of the refugees is achieved.”

Shtayyeh also mentioned that Israel is still practicing piracy on Palestinian money, and deducts allocations of martyrs’ and prisoners’ families. In addition, the Cabinet condemned the repeated incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, whether by Israeli ministers or settlers, deplored the construction of new settlement units in Palestinian land in the Jordan Valley, the assaults on houses in Silwan, the repeated daily arrests throughout the West Bank as well as the abuse of prisoners in Israeli jails.

To conclude, the Cabinet denounced the Israeli detention of Palestinian martyrs’ bodies, stressing that the government is following up this case before the local and international legal and judicial authorities to issue decisions obliging Israeli authorities to release these bodies.