The Palestinian Central Council strongly condemns the Israeli continuous aggression against our people in Gaza Strip. The Council affirms that the PLO and the PNA under the leadership of brother President Mahmoud Abbas continues to work and move at all regional and international levels to stop the Israeli aggression which continues to kill and torture and destroy in order to strike the steadfastness of the Palestinian society.
The government of Israel, which issued a decision to consider Gaza Strip a hostile entity, targets our Palestinian people who remained strong and steadfast in front of the Israeli occupiers for more than 30 years until they forced the Israeli occupiers to leave the steadfast Gaza Strip.
The deterioration of the humanitarian, economic, health and living conditions have transformed the Gaza Strip into a disastrous region; everything there is paralyzed and Israel closes the crossings and prevents the arrival of basic goods to the point that work has stopped in factories and small industries and more than 80 percent of the residents in Gaza Strip are now below the poverty line and need daily assistance.
The Council affirms that the Israeli measures and daily attacks must be condemned and denounced by the entire international community. The crossings must be opened, especially the international crossings, and free passage must be granted between Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the individuals and to the commercial and economic activity. Israel must allow UNRWA to bring in construction material which is being seized at Ashkelon port, and the goods of Gaza merchants which have been seized since Hamas' coup against legitimacy seven months ago.
The Palestinian Central Council affirms the following:
First: The situation in Gaza
1- The PLO Central Council calls on the Executive Committee and the PNA to move effectively at the international level to end the siege and stop the aggression against our people in Gaza Strip; there is a need for a call on the UN Security Council to meet and take the decision that can force Israel to stop its aggression and end the siege and open the crossings and enable the individuals and goods to move freely between Gaza Strip and abroad and between Gaza and the West Bank.
2- The Central Council praises the decision taken by President Abbas to pay salaries of all civil and military employees in Gaza Strip and calls for implementing the decision immediately.
3- The Central Council salutes the Palestinian national factions and figures who formed the Palestinian National Action Commission in Gaza Strip and calls for offering all assistance and support to this commission to assume its leading and unifying role after the bloody coup executed by Hamas.
4- The Central Council calls on the Executive Committee to set up an urgent plan to support the installations and institutions and the agricultural sector and labourers and support our people in the camps in Gaza Strip who lost their income sources.
5- The Central Council welcomes the call of brother President Abbas to open a new chapter and adopt dialogue as a means to solve the internal crisis; the Council calls on Hamas to respond to this call and retreat from its military coup and its results in a manner that can pave the path to a comprehensive national dialogue in preparation for early general presidential and legislative elections on the basis of full proportional representation. Hamas‘ insistence on clinging to its coup which was imposed by armed force is a precondition that obstructs the start and success of the dialogue.
Second: to activate the PLO departments and institutions
In face of the dangers and conspiracies facing our cause and the regional and international interference and the attempts to steal away our Palestinian independent national decision, the Central Council stresses on the following:
1- The PLO is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people and must be reinforced and supported by all forces, factions, commissions and organizations. The Central Council condemns all ill-fated attempts against the PLO which reject to recognize the PLO and which are trying to create false alternatives and trying also to hold conferences, the latest of which was the conference to be held on January 23, to be held in Damascus which will be held against our national interests in independence and freedom and the establishment of our independent state with al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.
2- The Central Council emphasizes the decision made in its session on July 18, 2007 - "The Session of Unity of the Homeland" - on the need to work fast and form a committee of the Executive Committee and the National Council's Speaker's Office and representatives of the forces and factions and several figures to discuss holding an ordinary term of the Palestinian National Council.
The Central Council emphasizes the need for the Executive Committee to set up a new law for National Council elections based on full proportional representation in harmony with and implementation of the Cairo Declaration in March 2005 and the National Reconciliation Document.
3- The Central Council emphasizes the need to expedite work on forming the National Funding Council and providing it with financial resources for assuming its responsibilities in various fields.
Third: The political developments, the negotiations and Bush‘s visit
The Central Council affirms the need to cling to all our national, constant and inalienable rights and decides the following:
1- International conferences in Annapolis and in Paris have newly launched our cause, which has regained its status as a central and pivotal issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
2- Our national rights cannot be subject to any concessions or compromise; therefore, the Central Council emphasizes the need for a full Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories until the border line of June 4, 1967.
3- The right of return of the Palestinian refugees is a legitimate and constant right in international resolutions, especially Resolution 194 which stipulates the right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and homeland and compensation for all their suffering due to their forceful eviction from their homeland and lands.
Thus, the Central Council rejects any political positions or statements issued on the issue of the Palestinian refugees and on the Jewish nature of the state of Israel. The Central Council calls on the Quartet Committee to abide by the international legitimacy and its resolutions instead of showing bias to the Israeli occupier and aggressor at the expense of our people and their national rights. The Council emphasizes the need to cling to international resolutions because they constitute the terms of reference of the negotiations, in addition to the Arab Peace Initiative.
4- The Central Council emphasizes the Russian call to hold an international conference in Moscow and to invite all countries to participate in that conference so that it can become a source of pressure on Israel and to set up mechanisms and international sponsorship so that the negotiations succeed and to achieve the establishment of our independent Palestinian state with al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.
Fourth: the Palestinian conditions in the camps and in the Diaspora
The Central Council expresses full support to our people in Nahr al-Bared Camp and the rest of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon and to our Palestinian refugees in Iraq.
The Central Council emphasizes the following:
1- The Central Council calls on the Palestinian leadership to work on all levels to secure financial support for the reconstruction of Nahr al-Bared Camp and to call on the government and the UNRWA to work quickly to reconstruct the camp.
2- the Central Council calls on the brotherly Iraqi government to provide security and protection for Palestinian refugees in Iraq.
The Central Council salutes the brotherly country of Sudan who initiated hosting the Palestinian refugees in Iraq and those stranded in the desert on the Syrian borders, and emphasizes the need to work fast to transport them and secure their residence in Sudan and provide financial support to achieve this.
Fifth: the Central Council calls for the release of the prisoners
The Central Council calls for continuous work in the negotiations and outside the context of negotiations to release our heroic prisoners from the occupation prisons and detention centers. The Council stresses to our heroic prisoners that their cause will remain always the first and basic issue at all local and international arenas.
Sixth: The Central Council salutes the brotherly and friendly countries
The Council extends greetings to the brotherly and friendly countries that offered support and assistance to our Palestinian people in their battle for the sake of freedom and national independence.
Seventh: the Central Council salutes our masses in Gaza Strip who came out to the streets in the million-person march marking the third anniversary of the departure of the leader of our people President and Martyr Yasser Arafat to show their loyalty for the national principles and goals for which Martyr Abu Ammar struggled. The Central Council condemns the measures executed by those of the coup in Hamas who opened fire on the masses leading to the martyrdom of eight citizens and injuring more than 150 others.
The Central Council condemns the daily attacks against the national legitimacy headquarters, especially the breaking into and theft of contents in the PLO Executive Committee headquarters and the headquarters of Fateh and repeated attacks against PNA institutions.
Eighth: the Central Council emphasizes the need to support Palestinian public organizations that represent the popular and grassroots base of the PLO and 30 percent of PNC members. The Council also emphasizes empowering Palestinian women for full participation in political institutions and frameworks with a ratio no less than 20 percent.