Cabinet says neglecting government on Gaza aid will only increase suffering

RAMALLAH, Tuesday, The Palestinian Cabinet stressed on Tuesday that neglecting the Palestinian Government as the only official authority when providing aid and implementing projects in the Gaza Strip will only increase the suffering of the Strip instead of solving its problem.

The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, also confirmed in a statement issued at the conclusion of its weekly meeting held in Ramallah commencing the Social Security Law as approved on time, and announced its willingness to receive comments on the Law for amendments after discussions with the related parties.

The Cabinet, according to the following statement:

Deplored Israel, the Occupying Power, and the United States for providing aid to the Gaza Strip without any coordination with the Palestinian government, under the pretext of preventing any humanitarian disasters, in an attempt to bypass the Palestinian government and neglect its role as the only official authority. The Cabinet stressed that the only way to end the suffering of the Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip is by ending the ongoing illegal Israeli blockade, achieving national reconciliation, and endorsing the Government to take its responsibilities in the Strip. On that note, the Cabinet reiterated its calls upon Hamas to work immediately towards ending the internal division, achieving national reconciliation and restoring the national unity by fully empowering the Palestinian Government.

Affirmed that the Israeli threats to deduct amounts of the Palestinian tax funds and transfer them to the Gaza Strip are part of Israel’s theft and piracy to strengthen the internal division. “We reject the Israeli policy of deducting Palestinian tax funds. This is an Israeli message to encourage some parties to deviate from our national project, and a clear attempt to implement the so-called “Deal of the Century” aiming at separating our homeland geographically.” The Cabinet explained that Israel collects these tax funds on its behalf and that the Palestinian Government has the mandate and the right to act according to the needs of its citizens. The Cabinet stated that the Palestinian Government would appeal to international institutions to compel Israel to cease its seizure of the Palestinian land as well as financial and natural resources and to subject them to the norms of international law and international legitimacy resolutions. “Any unilateral step would inevitably lead to further political fragmentation and division aimed to eliminate our national project.”

Condemned war crimes committed by Israeli settlers and occupying forces against defenseless Palestinian citizens, the latest of which was murdering nine citizens, including a woman, within 24 hours and closing the school of Sawya in a blatant, deliberate violation of all international and humanitarian laws. “Such field executions, deliberate killings and the continued systematic terror of organized extremist settlers reflect a clear disregard by the Israeli occupying forces, and the inability of world countries to stop Israeli crimes against the Palestinian citizens.” The Cabinet also strongly condoled the death of the prisoner martyr Wissam Abdul Majid Shalaldeh inside the Israeli prisons. “We appeal to all international bodies to intervene urgently to put an end to the suffering of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and prisons. Israel, the Occupying Power must commit to the implementation of international laws and treaties.”

Called upon the international community as well as Arab and Islamic countries to act immediately to put an end to the ongoing Israeli aggression against the Palestinian citizens, especially the massacres against peaceful demonstrators in the Gaza Strip, and the displacement and ethnic cleansing of Bedouin communities, particularly in Khan Al Ahmar village. The Cabinet demanded to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people, to implement the international justice, end the Israeli occupation, and recognize the rights of the Palestinian people as endorsed by the international legitimacy, especially resolution no. (2334). “The fundamental solution is through ending the occupation, and establishing an independent, sovereign State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Hailed launching the activities of the Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) Conference for the first time in Palestine after transferring it to the supervision of the Palestinian Prime Minister in cooperation with ambassadors from the CEAPAD member states, aiming at building and developing Palestinian cadres and capacities, and enhancing the Palestinian national economy. Prime Minister Dr. Rami Al-Hamdallah expressed his sincere gratitude to the East Asian countries for supporting Palestine and called on them to support the UNRWA. He also stressed the importance of investing in Palestine in order to enhance security and democracy in the region.

Welcomed the adoption of the Executive Board of the UNESCO for the resolutions of Palestine, which reflect the need to protect and preserve the cultural and educational institutions in Occupied Palestine including East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the old city of Hebron, in addition to demonstrating the Israeli violations against Palestinian heritage and culture.

Expressed gratitude for Canada on providing $62.5 million in financial assistance, including $50 million to UNRWA and $12.5 million to Palestinian children through “The Right to Play” organization. The Cabinet stressed that the international community, donor countries and free nations that refused the American decision to undermine the Palestinian refugees and their issue should immediately provide financial support to the UNRWA to ensure that it continues to provide its services.

Confirmed commencing the Social Security Law as approved on time and announces its willingness to receive comments on the Law for amendments after discussions with the related parties. The Cabinet noted that the implementation of the law comes after several stages of a comprehensive national consultations based on the standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO), and a formula of partnership that included representatives of trade s, parliamentary blocs, the Government, civil society organizations, financial experts, and academics before submitting the law to President Abbas for approval.

The Council emphasized that the law offers a social security system that provides a comprehensive framework for the economic protection and social benefits to more than one million Palestinian workers and their families, and works to protect the pension rights of thousands of Palestinian workers inside the Green Line that is accumulated since 1970.

Welcomed the statement issued by the US Christian Leaders Summit, the Houston Declaration, which calls on the American President to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine. The statement also demands the US Congress, American politicians, and public figures to adopt a balanced policy that paves the way for a just solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to a lasting peace in the region. Yet, supporting the international laws and reaffirming the crucial role of the United Nations in protecting and promoting a just peace based on the recognition of Jerusalem as a comprehensive city, as well as the commitment to support development in and around Jerusalem through creative social and economic investment.

Approved the reference document for the establishment of the national preventive mechanism for the prevention of torture in Palestine, in accordance with the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. This step comes in line with the international human rights standards and the obligations of Palestine to accede to international treaties and the commitment of the Palestinian leadership to the values and principles expressing the aspirations and beliefs of the Palestinian people and its continuing quest to embody our independent and democratic State of Palestine.

Endorsed the memorandums of understanding signed with the Government of India and The German Adult Education Association for lifelong learning, together with formal and non-formal education, as a necessary and flexible basis for reducing poverty and unemployment, and improving the lives of individuals. This comes in harmony with the goals of sustainable development, upon international recommendations. The national team of the national strategy for adult education will be expanded and developed to support three adult education centers affiliated to the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

Approved the agreement signed with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to compare the old and modern educational curricula aiming at promoting and developing the Palestinian curricula and manuals as well as finding possible ways of implementing them.

Source: Palestinian News and Info Agency