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The Prisoners' National Conciliation Document

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Palestine Center Information Brief No. 140 (28 June 2006)

Overview: On 27 June 2006, representatives of four major Palestinian political parties announced that further agreement had been reached over the Prisoners' Document. The original document was the working paper of the National Dialogue which started on 25 May 2006. Islamic Jihad, which participated in the original talks, did not initial this draft agreement, translated below. The draft agreement will be submitted to President Mahmoud Abbas for his review and the final version is expected to be signed by Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. This document is translated from the Arabic and abbreviated.

Main Body of Draft Agreement

The Palestinian people at home and in the Diaspora seek and struggle:

To liberate their land; remove the settlements; evacuate the settlers; remove the apartheid, separation wall; achieve their right to freedom, return and liberation; exercise their right to self-determination, including the right to establish an independent state with full control over the lands occupied since 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital; guarantee refugees' Right of Return to the homes and properties from which they were evicted and compensation; and liberate all prisoners and detainees without any discrimination. The Palestinian people base this on the historical right of our people in the land of our forefathers, the United Nations' charter and international law, without compromise to the rights of our people.

To accelerate efforts to accomplish what was agreed upon in Cairo in March 2005, pertaining to the development and reactivation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the participation of all forces and factions to it, according to democratic principles that reinforce the status of the PLO as the sole legal representative for our people wherever they may be, in a manner that meets with the changes in the Palestinian arena and strengthens the ability of the PLO to fulfill its responsibilities in leading our people in the homeland and the Diaspora, therefore the PLO should be the body that mobilizes the people in defending their national, political and humanitarian rights in the various international and regional arenas. Our national interest stipulates the formation of a new Palestinian National Council (PNC) before the end of 2006 in a manner that secures the representation of all Palestinian national and Islamic forces, factions and parties and all sectors of our people through elections where possible, according to proportional representation, and through agreement where it is not possible to hold elections according to mechanisms set up by the Higher Committee resulting from the Cairo Dialogue. The PLO therefore will remain a broad front and framework, a comprehensive national coalition, and the higher political reference for all the Palestinians at home and in the Diaspora.

To exercise the right of the Palestinian people to resist; uphold the choice of resisting occupation by various means; concentrate resistance in the territories occupied in 1967 along side political negotiations and diplomatic work; to continue popular resistance against the occupation in all of its forms, its presence and its policies; and to broaden the participation from all sectors in this resistance.

To formulate a Palestinian plan aimed at comprehensive political movement; to unify Palestinian political discourse on the basis of the Palestinian national goals as stated herein and according to the legalities adopted by Arab [League] and international law, which safeguard the rights of the Palestinian people and the principles to be implemented by the PLO leadership and institutions and by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), including the presidency and government, the national and Islamic factions, the civil society organizations, and public figures. This is aimed at strengthening Arab, Islamic and international political, financial, economic and humanitarian support to the PNA, which would then support the right of our people to self-determination, freedom, return and independence. Furthermore, it is aimed at confronting Israel's plan to impose a unilateral solution on our people and its oppressive siege.

To protect and support the PNA, given that it is the nucleus of the future state and was born of the struggle and sacrifices of the Palestinian people; to stress that higher national interests call for respecting the PNA "Basic Law" and legal precedent and respecting the responsibilities and authorities of the president elected according to the will of the Palestinian people through free, honest and democratic elections; to respect the responsibilities and authorities of the government granted by a vote of confidence from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), which was elected through free and democratic elections; and to stress the importance and necessity for creative cooperation between the presidency and government, therefore there should be joint action and regular meetings between them to achieve and reinforce cooperation and integration according to the provisions of the Basic Law, higher national interests and the need for comprehensive reforms in PNA institutions, especially in the judiciary whereby its authority is respected at all levels, its rulings are implemented, and it reinforces the rule of the law.

To work on forming a national unity government which secures the participation of parliamentary blocs and political forces interested in participating on the basis of this document; implements the joint program to improve the Palestinian situation at local, Arab, regional and international levels; carries out the reform program; develops the national economy; encourages investment; fights poverty and unemployment; and provides the best possible care for the sectors that carried the burden of steadfastness, resistance and the intifada, which include the victims of Israeli aggression, the families of martyrs, prisoners, the wounded, owners of homes and properties destroyed by the occupation, the unemployed, and graduates.

To affirm that the administration of negotiations is within the jurisdiction of the PLO and presidency of the PNA, which will adhere to Palestinian national goals as mentioned herein, on the condition that any future agreement will be presented to the new PNC for ratification or to the public through a general referendum held at home and in the Diaspora.

To liberate the prisoners and detainees, a sacred national duty to be assumed by all Palestinian national and Islamic forces and factions, the PLO, the PNA represented by the president and government, the PLC, and all resistance forces.

To double our efforts to support and care for the Palestinian refugees, defend their rights, and hold a popular conference representing the refugees that would create commissions to carry out duties on behalf of the refugees, ensure the Right of Return and call on the international community to implement U.N. Resolution 194, which stipulates the right of refugees to return and be compensated.

To work toward forming a unified resistance front called the "Palestinian Resistance Front" to lead and engage in resistance against the occupation, unify and coordinate resistance action, and define its unified political referential authority.

To adhere to the principles of democracy; hold regular, general, free and honest democratic elections according to the laws governing presidential, legislative, municipal, local, trade union and federation elections; transfer authority peacefully; and affirm the principle of a separation of authority; protect the Palestinian democratic experiment; respect the democratic process and its outcome; uphold the rule of the law, public and individual freedoms, freedom of the press and equal rights for all citizens without distinction; and protecting, promoting and developing the achievements of women.

To reject and denounce the oppressive siege on the Palestinian people being led by the United States and Israel on our people; call on our fellow Arab peoples at both popular and official levels to support the Palestinian people, the PLO and the PNA; call on the Arab governments to implement the political, financial, economic, and media decisions of the Arab summits that support our people and our national cause; affirm that the PNA is committed to Arab consensus and joint Arab action that supports our just cause and the higher Arab interests.

To call on the Palestinian people to strive for unity and solidarity; unify their ranks; support the PLO and PNA represented by the presidency and government; endorse the people's steadfastness and resistance in the face of Israeli aggression; and refuse any interference in internal Palestinian affairs.

To denounce all forms of division and disunity that lead to strife; condemn the use of weapons in settling internal disputes regardless of what the provocation was; affirm the sanctity of Palestinian blood; commit to dialogue as the sole means of resolving disagreements; ensure freedom of expression in a variety of ways (including in opposition to the PNA and its decisions) in accordance with the law; affirm the right to peaceable protests; and organize marches, demonstrations and sit-ins on the condition that they be peaceful, unarmed and do not destroy private or public property.

To find the means of allowing our people and our national, political and social forces to continue to participate in the battle for freedom, return and independence, in light of the new situation in the Gaza Strip, which is an example of our people's steadfastness and used all means of resisting the occupation while taking into consideration the interests of our people.

To reform, develop and modernize the Palestinian security system in all its branches, which will better equip it to defend the homeland and people and to confront the aggression and occupation; to preserve security and public order; enforce laws; end the state of chaos and lawlessness; stop the public show of arms and parades; confiscate any weapons that harm the resistance, distort its image or threaten the unity of Palestinian society; coordinate and organize the relationship between the security forces and the resistance; and organize and protect their weapons.

To call on the PLC to continue issuing laws that regulate the work of the security apparatus in its various branches and foster a law that bans the exercise of political and partisan action by members of the security services whereby they are required to abide by the elected political referential authority as defined by law.

To work on expanding the role and presence of international solidarity committees and peace-loving groups that support our people in our just struggle against occupation, settlements and the apartheid wall; and work toward the implementation of the International Court of Justice's 2004 ruling at The Hague, pertaining to the dismantlement of the wall and settlements and their illegitimate presence.

This document was translated from Arabic by Palestine Center staff members. A hard copy of the original document in Arabic can be obtained by contacting The Palestine Center. This information brief may be used without permission but with proper attribution to The Palestine Center. The above text does not necessarily reflect the views of The Jerusalem Fund.

The Jerusalem Fund
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Washington, DC  20037

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202.333.7742 (fax)

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