In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,
The Palestinian people have lived for more than 60 years under the yoke of dispersion, deprivation and eviction and suffered due to occupation all kinds of suffering and oppression and aggression while our people marked a long process of struggle, resistance, perseverance, and resilience through which they sacrificed hundreds of thousands of martyrs and injured and prisoners and gave the best examples of sacrifice and self denial and giving and clinging to their rights and constants moving through important historical phases until we reached the phase of the national unity government (the eleventh government).
This government was born after many efforts exerted by the loyal members of our people who worked day and night to reach a reconciliatory vision and common denominators that gather all Palestinians under one umbrella.
This government came as a fruit of the positive spirit and mutual confidence that resulted in solving all issues in the various fields and this government is one of the major and leading results of the blessed Mecca Agreement under the sponsorship of the Saudi King Abdul Aziz. The national unity government is the culmination of a long series of Palestinian dialogues where Egypt and Syria had a leading role in sponsoring these dialogues and following them up with appreciated efforts by several brotherly Arab countries and the Arab and Islamic organizations. It also reflects the devotion and loyalty to the long process of martyrs and the pains of the prisoners and injured, mainly the major martyrs the late president Yasser Arafat and Sheikh Imam Ahmad Yaseen and Leader Abu Ali Mustafa and leader Fathi al-Shiqaqi and leader Abdul Abbas.
Based on the national conciliation document and in light of the letter of commissioning, the national unity government will work at all levels in a manner that achieves the higher interests of the Palestinian people in the following manner:
First: at the political level
The government affirms that the key to security and stability in the region depends on ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and recognizing the right to self determination of the Palestinian people; the government will work with the international community for the sake of ending the occupation and regaining the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people so that we can build a solid basis for peace, security and prosperity in the region.
The government shall abide to protect the higher national interests of the Palestinian people and protect their rights and preserve and develop their accomplishments and work on achieving their national goals as ratified by the resolutions of the PNC meetings and the Articles of the Basic Law and the national conciliation document and the resolutions of the Arab summits and based on this, the government shall respect the international legitimacy resolutions and the agreements that were signed by the PLO.
The government shall abide by rejecting the so called state with temporary borders because this idea is based on taking away from the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
To cling to the right of the Palestinian refugees and right of return to their lands and properties.
To work diligently for the sake of liberating the heroic prisoners from the Israeli occupation prisons.
To confront the measures of the occupation on the ground in terms of the assassinations, arrests, and incursions. The government shall grant special importance to the city of Jerusalem to confront the Israeli policies pertaining to the people, lands and holy sites of Jerusalem.
To consolidate the relations with the Arab and Islamic countries and open up and cooperate with the regional and international surrounding on the basis of mutual respect.
Second: at the level of the occupation
The government affirms that peace and stability in the region depends on ending all forms of occupation of the Palestinian territories and removing the apartheid wall and settlements and halt of the Judaization of Jerusalem and policies of annexation and restore the rights to their owners.
The government affirms that resistance is a legitimate right of the Palestinian people as granted by the international norms and charters; our Palestinian people have the right to defend themselves in face of any Israeli aggression and believes that halting resistance depends on ending the occupation and achieving freedom, return and independence.
Despite this, the government, through national conciliation, will work on consolidating the calm and expanding it to become a comprehensive reciprocal truce happening at the same time between both sides and this should be in return for Israel halting its occupation measures on the ground in terms of assassinations, arrests, incursions and home demolition and leveling of lands and the digging works in Jerusalem and it should work on removing the check[points and reopening the crossings and lifting all the restrictions on movement and the release of prisoners.
The government affirms what came in the national conciliation document on the issue of the administration of the negotiations which is the jurisdiction of the PLO and the President of the PNA on the basis of clinging to the Palestinian national goals and towards achieving these goals, so that any offer on any final agreement should be presented to the new Palestinian National Council for ratification or to hold a general referendum to have the Palestinian people inside and abroad and to have a law that organizes this referendum.
The government shall support the exerted efforts and shall encourage the relevant parties to accelerate and end the case of the Israeli soldier in the context of an honorable prisoners exchange deal.
Third: at the security level
The national unity government realizes the internal difficult conditions and believes that its top priority at the coming phase is to control the current security conditions and in order to achieve this, the government shall depend in its program on the following:
To form a higher national security council that represents the terms of reference to all security services and the framework that organizes their work and define their policies, and request from the PLC to finalize the law pertaining to the national security higher council.
To structure the security services and build them on professional basis and work to provide their needs and reduce the partisan considerations and move them away from political polarizations and conflicts and consolidate in them the loyalty to the homeland and to have them abide by executing the decisions of their political leadership and to make sure that the personnel working in these services commit themselves to the tasks commissioned to them.
To work on activating the laws that have been ratified by the PLC with regards to the security institution.
To set up a comprehensive security plan to end all forms of chaos and security chaos and aggressions and protect and prevent any bloodshed and honor of families and funds and public and private properties and control the weapons and provide security to the citizen and work on ending the oppression inflicted on the people through the rule of the law and support the police to perform its duties in the best manner.
Fourth: at the legal level
The government shall work in full cooperation with the judicial authority to secure the reform and activation and protection of the judicial apparatus with all its institutions in a manner that can enable it to perform its duties in the context of achieving justice and fighting corruption and abiding by the rule of the law and implement the law with transparency and integrity on everybody without any interference from any party.
The government affirms that it work according to the Basic Law which organizes the relations between the three authorities on the basis of separating between the authorities and respect the authorities granted to the Presidency and to the government according to the law and order.
The government shall assist Mr. President in performing his various duties and will make sure to cooperate fully with the Presidency institution and the constitutional institutions and work with the PLC and the juridical authorities towards developing the Palestinian political system on the basis of having a unified strong national authority.
Fifth: At the level of the Palestinian values system
The eleventh government shall abide by consolidating national unity and protect social peace and consolidate the values of mutual respect and adoption of the language of dialogue and end all forms of tension and consolidate the culture of tolerance and protection of the Palestinian blood and ban internal fighting.
The government affirms the unity of the Palestinian people inside and abroad and shall work to have the participation of the Palestinian people abroad in all matters pertaining to the Palestinian affairs.
The government shall seek to consolidate national conciliation and towards achieving comprehensive national conciliation through forming a higher national commission under the sponsorship of the presidency and the government to be formed from the PLC and the factions and the well known figures and legal experts and scholars. The aim of this commission is to end the blood problems between the factions and families and assess the damage caused to the properties and institutions and work on solving these problems.
The government shall work on reinforcing the principle of citizenship through equality in rights and duties and equal opportunities and consolidate social justice in appointments and recruitments in the various ministries and institutions and end all forms of political favoritism in civil and security recruitments.
The government affirms its respect to the principle of political pluralism and protection of public freedoms and reinforce the values of Shura and democracy and protect the human rights and consolidate the principle of justice and equality and protect the free press and freedom of expression and abide by peaceful transfer of power and authorities and conclude the elections at the local councils within the next six months God willing.
The government shall abide by providing a dignified life to the Palestinian citizen and provide the requirements of life and social welfare and meet the health needs and develop the health facilities and expand health insurance and improve the situation of the hospitals and clinics and work on tackling the phenomena of poverty and unemployment through providing job opportunities and development projects and social securities and the social welfare program; the government shall grant special care to the education and higher education and shall encourage scientific research and provide its needs.
To care for the sectors of laborers, farmers, fishermen and the sectors of youths and women so that women can assume the status they deserve based on their sacrifices and to secure to them participation in the decision making process and to contribute in the building process in all institutions and ministries and at the various fields.
Sixth: the economic situation
The government shall work on ending the siege imposed on our Palestinian people through the programs and relations and to activate the regional and international frameworks to alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian people.
The government shall give priority to upgrade and advance the national economy and encourage the economic and trade sectors with the Arab and Islamic world and encourage economic and trade relations with the European Union and the rest of the world.
To move to protect the consumer and encourage the private sector and provide the proper climate for its activities and lay down the sound rules for government work and its official institutions and the institutions of the private sector and end monopoly. The government shall work on providing the proper climate and protection and stability of investment projects.
The government shall work on respecting the principles of free economy in a manner that meets with our values and norms and in a manner that serves the Palestinian development and protect the private sector and encourage investment and fight unemployment and poverty and reinforce the productive economic sectors and reconstruct the infrastructure and develop the industrial zone and the housing and technology sectors.
Seventh: the field of reform
The government which adopts the reform strategy affirms to your respectful council and to the people who granted us their esteemed confidence that we will remain faithful and the citizen shall feel this in the work of the government – God willing – through real achievements on the ground in the areas of administrative and financial reforms and cooperate with the PLC on issuing the laws that reinforce reform and that fights corruption and to look into the structures and methods of work in a manner that guarantees efficacy of work and performance in the ministries and their abidance by the law.
The government shall work on meeting the urgent needs of the citizen in the various fields through planning and initiatives and in defining the priorities of spending and rationalize spending and in launching initiatives and innovative ideas and maintain the highest degrees of credibility and transparency.
Within the context of reform, the government shall seek to fight corruption and reinforce the values of integrity and transparency and refrain from abusing public funds and we will give the matter of administrative development a social dimension and societal culture that establishes for a new concept and formulate a Palestinian societal strategy for administrative development and to develop a sound working mechanism based on the principles of modern administration which can assist in implementing this strategy according to the requirements and needs of the Palestinian society.
Eighth: International relations
At the time when our government stresses on its Arab and Islamic depth, it shall work on establishing sound and solid relations with the various world countries and with the international institutions, including the UN and the Security Council and the international regional organizations in a manner that assists reinforcing world peace and stability. The European Union has offered lots of assistance to our Palestinian people and supported our people's right in freedom and independence and the EU has had serious standpoints in launching criticism to the Israeli occupation policies; therefore, we are interested in solid ties with the EU and we expect from it a larger role in exerting pressure on the occupation authorities to respect the human rights as stipulated by the international charters to withdraw its troops from the occupied Palestinian Territories and halt all and repeated aggressions against our people. The government seeks to develop the relations with the countries with permanent membership in the Security Council, mainly Russia and China and Japan and the African and Asian countries in a manner that secures the just rights of our people and at the same time, the government calls on the United States Administration to reconsider its unjust positions towards the Palestinian cause and calls on the need to respect the option of the Palestinian people as realized and translated in the national unity government.
Originally published in the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam in Arabic, translated by the Jerusalem Media & Communication Centre.
Publication Date: 17/03/2007