Palestinian cabinet submits resignation, condemns Israeli measures

RAMALLAH, Tuesday, In its meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday, the Palestinian government chaired by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted its resignation and placed it under the disposal of President Mahmoud Abbas while it announced its readiness to continue performing its duties until a new government is formed, condemned the humiliating Israeli election campaigns, hailed the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit and reviewed participation outcomes of Prime Minister Hamdallah in the summit.

Following is the statement issued by the cabinet at the conclusion of its meeting:

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

Submitted its resignation and placed it under the disposal of President Mahmoud Abbas while the government will continue to perform its mandate and serve the Palestinian citizens until a new government is formed. The Cabinet expressed its sincere gratitude and appreciation for the unbounded confidence and support President Abbas and the Palestinian leadership provided to the Government throughout the period of its work. “The current government, under the supervision of President Abbas, was able to accomplish key achievements in various sectors since its formation on 02/06/2014 to date. This reflects the depth of national responsibility and the great attention it paid for its citizens despite the complex situation caused by more than a decade of political division, three destructive Israeli wars on the Gaza Strip, illegal Israeli measures in the West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem, and the financial crisis due to the decline in international and foreign aid.” The Cabinet added, “These obstacles obliged the Government to rearrange its priorities, redistribute its ed financial resources to meet its national responsibilities towards its citizens and endorse their resilience to survive on their own homeland, and complete the governmental reforms and development programs at all levels. In addition, the Government had to implement policies of expenditure control and lead infrastructure development in education, health, and social protection sectors to promote our national economy. In addition to that, the Government succeeded to promote the principles of good governance, show respect for human rights, and support freedom of expression, and other public freedoms.

Deplored the Israeli government decision to expel the International Monitoring Force in Hebron in a move that violates all signed agreements and an attempt by Israel, the Occupying Power to abandon its obligations under this agreement. The Cabinet called upon international countries sponsoring the agreement to stand against this dangerous Israeli position and to pressure the occupation government immediately to implement the agreement and stop acting as above the law.

Condemned the humiliating level of the Israeli election campaign based on incitement against our nation and its leadership, and led by war criminals in Israel such as Avi Dichter, who is responsible for committing war crimes against hundreds of Palestinian civilians. Dichter published a new campaign video in which he appears as an “Arabist” facing President Mahmoud Abbas. The Cabinet explained that it is not surprising to see such humiliating election campaign from the a war advocate and a responsible for the policy of assassinations and killings of Palestinian leaders and citizens, and the torture of Palestinian prisoners, as well as the bombing of Palestinian homes, and the initiator of the racial National-State Law. The Cabinet criticized the international community for allowing Israel, the Occupying Power, to continue its provocative campaigns against our nation and its leadership, stressing that “the failure to take serious and responsible steps to stop such racist Israeli actions against the Palestinian citizens and their national constants would allow Israel to proceed its aggression.” The Cabinet considered that the normal place of the criminal, Avi Dichter, is the International Criminal Court. The Cabinet warned the international community against Israel’s exploitation of the election period and its use to commit further ethnic cleansing, killings, and land confiscation. “We call upon the international community to immediately intervene, hold the Israeli occupation accountable, and put an end to its violations before deteriorating the situation,” the Cabinet expressed.

Reviewed the participation outcomes of Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah in the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit held in Beirut, Lebanon, with the presence of Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and many other Arab leaders and representatives. During the Summit, Prime Minister Dr. Hamdallah stressed the importance of allocating more political, moral and material support to the besieged city of Jerusalem, confirming the Arab responsibility in defending the city, and its Christian and Islamic sanctities as well as supporting the steadfastness of its citizens and institutions in confronting all forms of judaization, uprooting and displacement. In addition to stressing the importance of providing the needed fund for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Sectoral Development in the occupied city of Jerusalem (2018-2022) and translating the resolutions adopted by the Arab summits on increasing the resources of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa funds by $500 million. Hamdallah recalled the need to abide by the Arab peace initiative adopted in Beirut seventeen years ago and to boycott the Israeli occupation as one of the tools of peaceful resistance to the occupation and its settlements. The Prime Minister called upon all Arab countries, institutions and companies to commit to halting all direct and indirect dealings with the occupation regime and its settlements, and to take all necessary procedures for that. In his speech, Prime Minister Dr. Hamdallah highlighted the following issues:

o The Israeli measures and settlers terrorism as well as the restrictions and control over the movement of goods and citizens that to tighten trade opportunities and suppress any economic activity aiming at preventing the establishment of a geographically connected, sovereign independent State of Palestine.

o The recent American decisions against our nation including relocating the US Embassy to occupied Jerusalem, all unilateral decisions related to the UNRWA, closing the PLO office in Washington, and cutting off all kinds of aid, which gave Israel, the Occupying Power, the green light for further aggression, violations and settlement expansion.

o The reduction in foreign aid to 71%, and the Government work that promoted the optimal use of resources and the adoption of rational financial policies, to reduce the deficit, maximize domestic revenues, enhance the capacity of the national economy, establish a safe investment environment, attract investments and create employment opportunities.

o The strong diplomatic and legal movement led by President Mahmoud Abbas, which resulted in many achievements throughout the year, especially the overwhelming vote of the UN General Assembly on a resolution granting Palestine the legal powers to chair the Group of 77 and China. Adding to that, the need to unify all international efforts and to respond to President Mahmoud Abbas initiative to convene an international conference based on the international law, international legitimacy and the Arab peace initiative, ensuring the end of the Israeli occupation and the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Hailed the outcomes of the fourth Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, which confirmed:

o The urgent need to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian citizens in facing the increasing Israeli aggression and violations, which caused a sever destruction to the Palestinian economy and its infrastructure.

o The necessity to provide funding for Jerusalem in order to preserve the Arab Islamic and Christian identity of the city, and to involve various organizations and relevant entities in implementing the projects contained in the Strategic Multi-Sector Development Plan for East Jerusalem (2018- 2022).

o The importance of the right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees and their descendants in accordance with the resolutions of the international legitimacy, particularly the UN General Assembly Resolution number 49 of 1948.

o The international mandate granted to the UNRWA in accordance with the decision to establish it stressing the rejection of any resolution aimed at ending or reducing its role, and calling for securing the resources and financial contributions required to support its budgets so it meets its commitments and responsibilities towards the Palestinian refugees.

o The calls to abide by the international law and international legitimacy resolutions related to the legal status of occupied Jerusalem, and not to recognize it as the capital of the Israeli occupation or to transfer embassies to it. In addition, the importance of taking political and economic measures against any decision that violates the legal status of Jerusalem.

Reviewed the participation outcomes of Prime Minister Dr. Rami Hamdallah at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, during which Dr. Hamdallah pointed out that the obstacles facing the Palestinian economy due to the measures and restrictions imposed by Israel on imports and exports constitute a major obstacle to strengthening Palestinian trade relations with the neighboring Arab countries. In this regard, the Prime Minister stressed his government openness to strengthen Palestinian trade relations with the Kingdom of Jordan in particular, and other Arab countries. Moreover, The Prime Minister called on the world countries to halt investments in wars and destructive weapons, and to invest, instead, in development and peace to create a better reality for our country and future generations. Dr. Hamdallah, herein, stressed the importance of investing in education, especially in vocational education programs, in order to qualify young generations with skills and capacities for possible development and positive change.

Warned against the constant attempts of Israel, the Occupying Power, to violate the historic and legal status of occupied Jerusalem, especially the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the repeated attacks and raid campaigns as well as blocking the worshipers from performing prayers. In addition to preventing the Chairman of the Islamic Waqf Council, the President of the Court of Appeal, and a number of Waqf officials from entering the Dome of the Rock mosque, as well as excavation works beneath and around mosque.

Held the Israeli Government fully responsible for the consequences of its actions and measures, stressing that the whole world must be aware that Israel, the Occupying Power, does not have any legal sovereignty over Jerusalem and Islamic and Christian sanctities, and that all actions it imposes against the Holy City and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are totally rejected. The Cabinet pointed out that such measures come as part of implementing the plans and attempts of the occupation to change the current historical situation in Jerusalem, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to violate the entity and religious, spiritual, and ideological status of the place.

Stressed that Israel continues to escalate its heinous crimes against the Palestinian citizens, their land and holy sites due to the failure of the international community, in particular the UN Security Council, to provide international protection to the defenseless Palestinian citizens and to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate all crimes committed by the Israeli Occupying Forces. This comes in addition to the persistence of some parties in the international community, especially the Trump administration, to act in favor of Israel, and the refusal of the international community to shoulder its legal and moral responsibilities to end the occupation and establish an independent State of Palestine on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. In this context, the Cabinet condemned the Israeli escalation against the defenseless Palestinian citizens, the latest of which was the settlers’ militias attack on the village of Mughayar, northeast of Ramallah, killing Hamdi Al-Nasan and injuring, at least, 30 Palestinian citizens.

Condemned Israel’s grave escalation against Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, especially in the Ofer prison, and blamed the Israeli Government for the attacks and the injury of more than 100 prisoners, including children. The Cabinet also saluted the steadfastness of the heroic prisoners in the face of the Israeli Occupying Forces, calling on the international human rights organizations and the international community to intervene immediately to stop the aggression of the occupying forces against the prisoners, warning of the danger of continuing this Israeli escalation.

Confirmed that any plan to launch the political process without the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders would be doomed to failure. The Cabinet also pointed out that rumors and leaks about the so-called “Deal of the Century” are failed attempts that will reach a dead end because the title for achieving a just and lasting peace is the Palestinian leadership, which depends on the international legitimacy, and the two-state solution for the establishment of an independent State of Palestine. The Cabinet, moreover, asserted that the path to achieving peace in the region is clear and upon the Palestinian legitimacy. Yet, any projects that destroy the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian citizens for freedom and independence will not succeed and will end.

Assured that the Palestinian leadership will not deal with any American ideas on resolving the conflict unless the US administration retreats from its biased positions and decisions. The first is to withdraw its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to recede transferring its embassy to Jerusalem and other unilateral resolutions that undermine the peace prospects.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency