Palestine Cry

The Truth of God and Our Lord Jesus Christ

Special Palestine Cry Blog articles: The Catholic Creed: The meaning of the Pasch of Christians.


For as it was not possible that the man who had once for all been conquered, and who had been destroyed through disobedience, could reform himself, and obtain the prize of victory; and as it was also impossible that he could attain to salvation who had fallen under the power of sin,-the Son effected both these things, being the Word of God, descending from the Father, becoming incarnate, stooping low, even to death, and consummating the arranged plan of our salvation, upon whom [Paul], exhorting us unhesitatingly to believe, again says, "Who shall ascend into heaven? that is, to bring down Christ; or who shall descend into the deep? that is, to liberate Christ again from the dead." Then he continues, "If thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shall be saved." And he renders the reason why the Son of God did these things, saying, "For to this end Christ both lived, and died, and revived, that He might rule over the living and the dead." And again, writing to the Corinthians, he declares, "But we preach Christ Jesus crucified; "and adds, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? " - St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book III, Chapter XVIII, Section 2.

The Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, Mary and John and the women at the foot of the Cross

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the earth, until the ninth hour.

Origen tell us this darkness was only in Palestine, and the neighbouring countries: for as to the words, over the whole earth, or over the whole land, we find one kingdom or empire, by a common way of speaking, called the whole earth, or the whole world. As to the cause of the obscuration of the sun; and secondly, as to the extent of its darkness. Origen tells us that the darkness was partial, and confined to Judea and the neighbouring countries, as the darkness of Egypt was only perceived in that country, and not in Gessen, where the children of Israel were. Saint Jerome tells us that the obscurity was caused by the rays of the sun being suddenly withdrawn by divine power, as was the case in Egypt. The darkness in Egypt during the Passover of Moses was due to God's protection withdrawn from that land at that time. The darkness when Christ was Crucified for us is the judgement of God upon His Son Jesus Christ, in our place. For Jesus Christ knew NO sin. He never sinned, nor could He ever.

The meaning of the Pasch of Christians.

The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 17, describes the devils and demons thrown back upon the Egyptians when the Israelites under Moses were brought out of Egypt by God for God’s purposes (to prepare a place for the Crucifixion of Our Lord for the Redemption of the whole world of those who are saved). In the same way the same false gods and goddesses that the Egyptians served and which in so doing were the reason the Egyptians sacrificed their sons and daughters to the devils and demons behind the false gods/goddesses were the spirits that killed the Egyptian children that perished when the Israelites were brought out of Egypt. God does not murder children, period. The angel of death which destroyed in Egypt was one of the fallen spirits. God did not cause any of the fallen spirits to hurt anyone. God allowed the fallen spirits to do what it is their nature do to when He brought the Israelites out of the gates of hell which was Egypt. The children below the age of reason that died went to be with God for eternity, they will be resurrected with the just at the Second Coming of Christ. This principle of God allowing the innocent to be afflicted along with guilty finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ’s singular and only salvific Kenosis. Jesus Christ committed no sin, not ever nor could He, and was and is and only could be utterly and absolutely and completely innocent of any and all wrongdoing and sin by His very nature as the Holy and True God. The guiltless sacrificed by His own will for the guilty. Even when the innocent are afflicted by the actions and evils instigated by the fallen spirits in the world, the innocent are not possessed by those fallen spirits. The principle of all being afflicted by the evil set loose upon the world for its unrepentant sin will occur when the universal plagues are let loose upon the world. See Apocalypse 16

The principle of our always, for our part, protecting children is given us by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 18

1 At *that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?

2 *And Jesus calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them,

3 And said: Amen I say unto you, *unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.

5 And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.

10 Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, *that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

The principle of our ONLY worshipping the True God, the Father and the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is given first in the historical truth of the Garden of Eden when Christ, who is the Tree of Life commands the first man and his wife, Adam and Eve to not have anything to do with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which is Satan, the first fallen angel, nor with any of the fallen angels with Satan. Assisi of Babylon/Vatican/Rome is absolute and complete violation of that principle and is the Great Apostasy in full blown Satanic evil. Have nothing to do with the Vatican or suffer its eternal damnation in hell with it. The devil and demon worshipping pagans and the perfidious deicidal Jews are not ever any part of the Salvific action of Christ upon Golgotha/Calvary. Individual pagans and Jews if they repent of their not confessing Jesus Christ as the Immortal Son of God become flesh for our sake and sacrificed for our salvation and who confess publicly their sin of devil and demon worshipping and perfidy and deicide and who beg the Lord of all, the Lord God, the Father and the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for forgiveness of their horrid and abominable sins, can and will be forgiven if they do so now in this life and will enter into the only path of salvation there is as dictated by God Himself. The Church, all the faithful – there is no other meaning acceptable to God for the word Church, is commanded by God to not have anything to do with the Apostasy.

Book of Wisdom, Chapter 17

1 For thy judgments, O Lord, are great, and thy words cannot be expressed: therefore undisciplined souls have erred.

2 For while the wicked thought to be able to have dominion over the holy nation, they themselves being fettered with the bonds of darkness, and a long night, shut up in their houses, lay there exiled from the eternal providence.

3 And while they thought to lie hid in their obscure sins, they were scattered under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly afraid and troubled with exceeding great astonishment.

4 For neither did the den that held them, keep them from fear: for noises coming down troubled them, and sad visions appearing to them, affrighted them.

5 And no power of fire could give them light, neither could the bright flames of the stars enlighten that horrible night.

6 But there appeared to them a sudden fire, very dreadful: and being struck with the fear of that face, which was not seen, they thought the things which they saw to be worse:

7 And the delusions of their magic art were put down, and their boasting of wisdom was reproachfully rebuked.

8 For they who promised to drive away fears and troubles from a sick soul, were sick themselves of a fear worthy to be laughed at.

9 For though no terrible thing disturbed them: yet being scared with the passing by of beasts, and hissing of serpents, they died for fear: and denying that they saw the air, which could by no means be avoided.

10 For whereas wickedness is fearful, it beareth witness of its condemnation: for a troubled conscience always forecasteth grievous things.

11 For fear is nothing else but a yielding up of the succours from thought.

12 And while there is less expectation from within, the greater doth it count the ignorance of that cause which bringeth the torment.

13 But they that during that night, in which nothing could be done, and which came upon them from the lowest and deepest hell, slept the same sleep.

14 Were sometimes molested with the fear of monsters, sometimes fainted away, their soul failing them: for a sudden and unlooked for fear was come upon them.

15 Moreover if any of them had fallen down, he was kept shut up in prison without irons.

16 For if any one were a husbandman, or a shepherd, or a labourer in the field, and was suddenly overtaken, he endured a necessity from which he could not fly.

17 For they were all bound together with one chain of darkness. Whether it were a whistling wind, or the melodious voice of birds, among the spreading branches of trees, or a fall of water running down with violence,

18 Or the mighty noise of stones tumbling down, or the running that could not be seen of beasts playing together, or the roaring voice of wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the highest mountains: these things made them to swoon for fear.

19 For the whole world was enlightened with a clear light, and none were hindered in their labours.

20 But over them only was spread a heavy night, an image of that darkness which was to come upon them. But they were to themselves more grievous than the darkness.

The Catholic Creed: The Final Trial: Traditional Catholic Prayers: Baptism

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The PA Abuses Journalists to Protect the Occupation

The PA Abuses Journalists to Protect the Occupation

Two days ago the Israeli military arrested a leader of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, Abbas Zaki, during his participation in a peaceful demo in Bethlehem demanding the freedom of movement and worship on the sidelines of the celebrations of Palm Sunday, and transferred him to Ofer prison. This crime took place under the silence of the Palestinian Authority officials while its “security forces” attacked the journalists covering the event in order to prevent them from publishing the news about this shameful incident of arrest of Palestinian leaders and peaceful demonstrators.

Others detained together with Zaki were Ziad Al-Bandaq, a former PA minister, and the current Palestinian governor of the district of Bethlehem, Abd El-Fattah Hamayel, who were both released, and 10 Palestinians of Christian faith.

According to lawyer Buthaina Duqmaq, president of the Mandela Foundation, the Israeli Civil Administration did not allow her to meet Zaki, but they agreed to let her talk to him over the phone. Duqmaq said that Zaki informed her that the Israeli authorities agreed to release him in return for signing a pledge with three requirements: a commitment not to go to the near the Israeli military checkpoints or to approach them for 15 days, a commitment to pay them 5000 NIS, and a commitment to come before the Israeli police whenever and wherever they want him.

She added that Zaki refused to sign the commitment imposed on him by the military, and that he informed the occupation authorities that he would not agree to these humiliating conditions which affect the trust conferred upon him and the people who were arrested together with him. Zaki also told Duqmaq that he would not agree to leave the prison without the ten other detainees who were kidnapped by the occupation.

The Palestinian journalists who work in Bethlehem confirmed that the Palestinian security forces prevented them from filming the arrest of Zaki and the other Palestinians, they also cursed and insulted them immorally, and threatened to confiscate their cameras if they insisted in filming the peace demo and the IDF arrests of Palestinian citizens.

AP cameraman Iyad Hamad said that during his coverage of clashes with the Israeli occupation forces, the PA military forces tried to stop him and his colleague Mohammed Abu Ghanyyeh form Reuters and Luay Sababa from Ma’an News Agency. “They dealt harshly and threatened to beat us if we did not stop filming”, he said. “In addition, they proffered offensive verbal insults on us, claiming that the area is a closed military zone without showing us the security authorizations to do so”. The Journalist Moussa al-Shaer from AFP (French news agency) who watched the event, said that the most prominent feature of these security individual was that they were very nervous while the situation did not call for it.

Meanwhile, dozens of journalists held a sit-in yesterday at 10:00 outside the Palestinian headquarters of the province in Bethlehem in protest against members to national security who abused them while covering the demo of Sunday north of Bethlehem. Mr. Abdel Nasser al-Najjar, the new Secretary General of the Palestinian journalists syndicate, was among the Palestinian journalist protestors. At the same time, the TV and radio stations in Bethlehem suspended their work for five minutes in protest against the practices of the PA security forces against the Journalists.

On Wednesday the Israeli military court of Ofer prison is scheduled to deal with the case of the arrest of the high ranking PA leader and member of the Central Committee of Fatah, Abbas Zaki.

Zaki did not go to court because he was not willing to be freed without that also the 10 Christian protestors would be freed, who had no chance to be released on their own due to their lack of political prominence. They were all accused of “attacking the police” while there was no police present in the protest area. Today Wednesday a demonstration in solidarity with the incarcerated was held before the Ofer jail near Ramallah.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Civil Society and The Palestinian Authority

The Civil Society and The Palestinian Authority

During the final closing on the Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, Riyad Mansour, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, said: “I am honored and humbled to be in the company of fighters in the field who fight on a daily basis against the wall and the occupation.” Civil society and the Palestinian Authority complemented each other, he continued. Ending the occupation was a collective endeavor that required from each and everyone to do what was needed. Ways should be found to convince the 27 European countries that had not yet done so to recognize the State of Palestine.

He invited participants to do their part, through, for instance, researching the many issues contained in the ICJ ruling. Help was needed in handling some 60,000 claims for damages caused by the construction of the wall, for instance. All things being done, small or big, contributed to the struggle of the Palestinian people. Some activists were being killed; others sent to prison, others were advancing the ICJ ruling in the diplomatic area. It all added collectively to the struggle of the Palestinian people so that one day they would succeed and could start building their society. “Always concentrate on what unifies us and not what divides us,” he said.

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Ambassador Riyadh Mansour at UN Vienna from Kawther Salam on Vimeo.

Concluding notes of Palestinian Ambassador Riyadh Mansour delivered at the closing session of the Civil Society Meeting for Palestine at the UN Vienna on 26.03.2010.

Ambassador Saviour F. Borg, Rapporteur of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that today, the Committee had learned about activities on the ground aimed at bringing down the wall. “We’ve learned about your tireless advocacy work, your relentless protests, and your invocations of international law”. The messages heard today would be presented to Committee members and, through them, the wider membership of the United Nations.

He assured participants that the Committee stood behind their efforts and encouraged them to keep working towards a just and lasting peace and said: “The Palestinian people have suffered too much and for too long. All of us in every capacity, Governments, the United Nations and civil society, must each play our own role to bring justice back to the Palestinian people.”

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Illegality of EU Relations With Israel

Illegality of EU Relations With Israel

Rabab Khairy, Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa of the Centre national de coopération au développement (National Centre for Development Cooperation), Belgium, said during the panel discussion on the Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People that the Russell Tribunal on Palestine initiative set up some five years after the Advisory Opinion. The purpose of the tribunal was to show the complicity of the international community in the perpetuation of ongoing violations of human rights of the Palestinian people. The Tribunal acted as the court of the people, a Tribunal of conscience aimed at mobilizing society. It consisted of eminent persons, among them former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. A number of international sessions would be organized, the first of which had already taken place in Barcelona. There, the relations between the European Union’s Member States and Israel had been investigated.

Reporting on the findings of that Tribunal, she said the EU and its Member States had been found in breach of several provisions of international law regarding their cooperation with Israel, including active assistance to Israel in exporting weapons used in the Gaza offensive. If the European Union and its Member States failed to impose the necessary actions against Israel, the Tribunal would count on European Union citizens to bring the necessary pressure.

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Presentation of Rabab Khairy at UN Vienna from Kawther Salam on Vimeo.

Presentation of Rabab Khairy from the National Center for Development Cooperation in Belgium speaks at the UN Civil Society Meeting for Palestine on 26.03.2010.

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Israel has Breached Peremptory Norms of Humanitarian Law

Israel has Breached Peremptory Norms of Humanitarian Law

Phil Shiner, Supervisor of Public Interest Lawyers, United Kingdom, said during the panel discussion on the Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People that the Advisory Opinion was extremely helpful as it had identified three different pre-empting norms Israel had breached, explaining that peremptory norms or jus cogens norms were actions recognized in international law that no State was ever permitted to commit, such as genocide, slavery and denial of the right to self-determination.The opinion was crystal clear that Israel was in breach of international law and set out the obligations of third States.

He said that customary international law was part of the common law of the United Kingdom and part of the jurisdiction of other European States. He had unsuccessfully brought two cases to Court where the United Kingdom was in violation of international law through, for instance, permitting the sale of arms to Israel, which had then been used in the Gaza offensive, and suggested that civil society, should identify EU States where legal actions in that regard could be brought.

The EU-Israeli Association Agreement is also in breach of jus cogens norms, as the Agreement includes a provision which says that relations between parties must be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles. That clause requires parties to respect customary international law and the principles of the United Nations Charter which prohibits acquisition of territory by force. He was working on a court challenge in that regard and suggested that what was being done in the UK could be done elsewhere.

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Phil Sheiner Speech at UN 26.03.2010 from Kawther Salam on Vimeo.

Speech delivered by Phil Sheiner of Public Interest Lawyers in Birmingham, UK, at the UN Civic Society Meeting for Palestine held at the UN Vienna on 26.03.2010

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The Construction of the Israeli Apartheid Wall

The Construction of the Israeli Apartheid Wall

Dr. Hans Koechler, the moderator of last panel discussion which was held on March 26 2010 at the UN Vienna during the Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, said that the big problem, as far as international law was concerned, was the gap between legal norms and the situation on the ground. The norms were clear, as had been confirmed by the International Court of Justice’s Advisory Opinion.

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The basic elements of that Opinion were: the construction of the wall was contrary to international law; Israel was under obligation to terminate its construction, dismantle it and repeal all legislative acts that related to it; Israel was under obligation to pay reparations for all damage caused by the wall; all States were under obligation not to recognize any consequences of the wall construction and not to aid such construction; and the United Nations should consider what further action was required to bring an end to the construction.

It was therefore appropriate for the United Nations to organize meetings such as the current one. The implementation of the law was unfortunately something that was left to international politics as international law was not self-enforcing. There stood only two avenues open in terms of enforcement. First, there were compulsory measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, which were impossible to use as long as one permanent Member of the Security Council would cast a negative vote. Second, those States that had ratified the Geneva Conventions could take measures, including economic ones, against Israel. The realistic action was to exercise political pressure. That was the predicament the United Nations and the international community was in. It was therefore appropriate that civil society stepped in, especially in the countries that were permanent members of the Security Council.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Thirteen Year Old Girl in Israeli Jail

A Thirteen Year Old Girl in Israeli Jail

Israeli soldiers detained a thirteen-year- old girl from her home in the Old City of Hebron on Tuesday the 23rd of March. At about 5:45 PM, CPTers followed four soldiers as they entered the girl’s home and ordered the entire family to the roof. Once on the roof, a fifth soldier from a permanent post on a neighboring Israeli settler home ordered the family’s three teenage daughters to one side of the roof. The soldier singled out the thirteen-year- old and accused her of throwing a stone. The girl’s mother protested saying that minutes before she had notified this soldier about settlers throwing stones at her as she hung her laundry and that he had seen settlers throwing stones. She was dumbfounded that the soldier’s response was to call another unit of soldiers to detain her daughter.

Two more units of soldiers arrived at the house before escorting the girl out of her home. The girl’s aunt attempted to prevent the soldiers from taking the girl by linking arms with her and refusing to let go. After a five-minute stand off, soldiers stated that the aunt could accompany the girl and the group of eighteen soldiers escorted them both away to a military jeep. Israeli police arrived, arrested the girl and took her and her aunt to a police station for questioning and fingerprints. The girl was released later that evening.

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The UN is Not the Right Place for Honor Killings Talk

The UN is Not the Right Place for Honor Killings Talk

See more pictures

The following questions were delivered during the press briefing of the Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People from 24-25 March 2010 at the United Nations office in Vienna.

According to my information, alone in January and February 2010 13 women were murdered in so-called “honor killings”, and the bodies of 7 victims were dumped in the streets of the West Bank.

Why has the PA until now not changed the discriminatory laws and practices which allow these grave crimes, while many laws have been changed?

Is the continued tolerance of “honor killings” and discrimination against women part of the process of building a Palestinian state?

Ambassador Riyad Mansour, PA representative at the UN in New York, answered:

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“You are absolutely right, and the lady who spoke today (he meant Suhair Azzouni) you should go and talk to her, she raised the same issue, she gave the statistics about the killing of the 13 honor killings in the occupied territories, and she defended the cause of the Palestinian women before the audience, while you unfortunately was not ere, in the morning session. Go and speak with her, take a copy of her statement.

What I want to say that this is some deficiency in the law of the Palestinian authority, and we encourage this woman to come and to raise this issue, because we are interested in changing these laws so the interest of the Palestinian women, would be defended and laws would be changed in line in the interest of the Palestinian women and also for us to eventually have total equality between men and women in accordance with our declaration of independence, and also to have more representation of women in the PLO, the government, in the Palestine national council, in the legislative council of Palestine, she gave statistics that made our society look bad verses women, but we are not hiding these realities that are bad, we are debating them, and we want to change them and I suggest you to take a copy of her statement and publish it because of the cause of the Palestinian women.”

At the final conclusion session of the second day of the seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, Ambassador Riyad Mansour said that “The UN is not the right place for Honor Killings talk, but we have to deal with this issue while it is part of our society’s problems”. But my experience is that in fact it is never the “right place” or the “right time” to speak about honor killings, sexual abuse, violence and discrimination against women for the honorable gentlemen, so much that one could come to the impression that they actually protect these atrocities against women with a wall of never-ending justifications.

What prompted me to ask the question about the so-called “honor killing” in Palestine was the steady increase in these crimes, which summed up to 13 crimes carried out during the past two months January and February 2010. This is a staggering figure when compared with the annual figures for such crimes perpetrated during the past years in Palestine.

The equivalent of this crime is the silence of the Palestinian National Authority and the preservation of the Jordanian penal code of 1960, which is applied in Palestine until now for protecting the criminals. In Palestine it is legal to kill women in order to protect the “honor” of the family. This and other Jordanian laws are strongly discriminate between men and women, they are inhuman and a crime against all women.

The officials of the Palestinian Authority claim that the change of the laws that protect the murderers of women will come in accordance with the declaration of the Palestinian Independence State. In my opinion as a journalist, this claim is incorrect, and it come as a cover to protect some the Palestinian Authority employers who are involved in one way or another in these “honor” crimes.

The claim by Ambassador Mansour that the PA intends to change the laws, or that this is “a deficiency of the laws” is not credible, as I spoke last year about this very issue with the justice minister of the PA, Ahmad Al-Moghani, during a visit of the minister to Vienna.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not wait for the announcement of a Palestinian state when it passed numerous resolutions and presidential decrees relating to other crimes, including the Presidential decision, which protects the interests of the employees and institutions of the PA.

Palestinian President himself committed flagrant violation of the law when he issued his decree decision “military order” on June 6 2007 which granted the military courts the power to deliver on military law against those involved in civil crimes that may affect staff in the Palestinian Authority or its institutions. “See the military order of President Abbas as (PDF), and see a copy of this military order below.”

Recently, an incident of sexual harassment against a woman who had applied for work in the PA was exposed with a video. The person who was involved in this crime was R. Al, the political assistant in the office of the President Mahmoud Abbas.

In order to carry more information related to “honor killings” and sexual assaults on Palestinian women, I re-publish a brief summary of what I spoke during lectures that I gave at a conference held in Europe, or which I have published in past articles:

“Seven women were killed in the Palestinian territories because of “honor killings” in the first month of the year 2010. These news were released by Palestinian human rights organizations interested in women’s issues, but according to my sources, this statistic was falsified and the real number of women who were murdered, only in the cities of Ramallah and Hebron since the beginning of the year 2010 has exceeded 13. The sources confirm that these seven women, who were registered in the statistics of human rights organizations as victims of “honor killing”, were left in public streets and in fields after being killed and there was no chance for the perpetrators to hide the crime”. Read more “Over 13 Honor Killings in Two Months in Palestine”.

“Today 11 June 2009 a Palestinian woman of age 32 and mother of two children was killed by her family in the southern district of Hebron. The body was found while the murderers were trying to hide their crime. According to the sources, the background of the murder was a so-called killing to “protect the honor of her family”.
In the Gaza Strip, 10 June 2009, a girl from Deir el-Balah was murdered by her father. The background of this murder was a so-called killing to “protect the honor of her family”. Read more “Victims of Incest and Abuse in Palestine”

“6- Under the PA we were allowed to report about the violations of human rights under the Israeli occupation, but we were not allowed to report about the violations of human rights committed by the Palestinian Authority itself. We were not allowed to report about the corruption in the PA, or about sexual abuses against women and children, or about the many cases of incest, about the honor killings, about the many cases of women killed because of inheritance fights, and about the violence against women inside the family. These issues never found their way to the Palestinian media under the PA.

7- Any mention of violence against women was off-limits: former President Arafat once gave orders to confiscate all copies of a monthly magazine from every shop in Ramallah one hour after its appearance, because the magazine had reported about cases of sexual abuse of PA workers in the offices of the Palestinian National TV. An official from the office of former President Arafat threatened me that “the blue flies will never find your body” if I reported about certain cases of sexual abuse in the PA itself”.

Read the full article: “The King of Jerusalem” which was delivered at the 2nd Conference of Women Journalists and Communicators of the Mediterranean which took place at the localities of the European Institute of the Mediterranean in Barcelona on October 5 and 6, 2007 under the sponsorship of the Government of Catalunya, the City Council of Barcelona, the Association of Journalist Women of Catalunya, and the International Network of Women Journalists and Communicators.

“(4) In addition to the horrors perpetrated upon us by the occupation, the women of Palestine must endure the repression by our own men. Honor killings, rape, incest, violence, exclusion from a wide range of activities and rights are life as usual for all women in Palestine. Under such conditions, it becomes clear that “human rights” and “women rights” are very personal concepts, not something “good to have” but a matter of survival, for both genders. Let me start with personal examples.

My youngest sister is one of the many women who have benefited from the respect shown for women rights by the PA. Three years ago she married an employee of the PA National forces (Samir Udeh). As we found out, she became his second wife, after his first wife ran away from him. During the wedding festivities, the dowry of my sister disappeared, it was later found out that her husband had stolen it, and he later claimed that he had stolen it for “security reasons”. But the truth was that he used this gold to open a brothel for his friends from the PA employees, and he also married a young girl in secret. He sold the favors of this new wife to his colleagues from the PA, and he made and sold videos of these activities until the family of the young girl found out what was going on. The family killed the poor girl and cut and hung her head before the house for all neighbors to see, in order to save their honor.

(6) Neither the man nor the family of the murdered girl were punished, none of the men who participated in the abuse of this woman were punished, and my sister, who first heard about her husbands crimes from neighbors, could divorce this man only because I was able to intercede in her favor. Worst of all, these horrible deeds are not even considered crimes, because under the Jordanian penal code of 1960, which is applied in Palestine until now for unknown reasons, it is legal to kill women in order to protect the honor of the family. This and other Jordanian laws strongly discriminate between men and women, they are inhuman and a crime against all women.

(7) The honor killings have strongly increased in Gaza and Ramallah during the last years. At the beginning of 2008, a man from Gaza who had escaped from jail where he was for a rape murdered his three sisters because he suspected them of “talking with men”. In Ramallah, two sisters were murdered in April 2008 by their brother, for “honor”. The newspapers do not report these crimes, and neither does human rights organizations: the censorship is absolute.

But far from asking the PA to do something for the rights of women, the EU has recently gifted them with 150 million Euros for their corrupt forces and to build a jail by 2010, as if the hundreds of jails of the Israelis were not already enough”.

Read the full article: “A Sincere Offer of Peace to Israel”, a speech, was delivered on Sunday 6 July 2008, in the auditorium of the Faculty of Dental Medicine of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

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Questions at The UN About Ending the Occupation of Palestine

Questions at The UN About Ending the Occupation of Palestine

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The following question were delivered on March 25 2010 during the UNIS Press briefing on the Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People organized by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People from 24-25 March 2010 at the United Nations office at Vienna. The speakers at the UNIS conference were Zahir Tanin, Ambassador of Afghanistan to the UN in New York, and Riyad Mansour, the Ambassador (Permanent Observer) of Palestine to the United Nations in New York, and head of the delegation of the committee. Mr. Maher Nasser, director of UNIS, was the conference moderator. The questions were directed to Ambassadors Tanin and Mansour. The conference was attended by some Journalists and the team of UNIS press office.

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From the right, Ambassador Riyad Mansour, Maher Nasser, and Dr. Ali Al-Jirbawi.

Israel was essentially created by the UN on Palestinian land. During the last 6 decades, the UN and the international community have given Israel everything, and tolerated from Israel every single abuse and transgression of international laws to which all other nations submit most of the time. As a result, Israel has become a problem not only for Palestinians, but it has become a problem for the international community , a bully which is now abusing and perverting the role of the UN in order to legitimize wars of aggression against perceived political opponents.

Question: In view of this, is it not time to change the attitude against them and start serious international discussions towards expelling Israel from the UN, or applying even stronger sanctions?

Response to my question from Ambassador Tanin:
“The United Nations has always been in the support of the Palestinians case, as we know from the resolutions from the General Assembly, the resolutions of the Security Council, the Palestinians plight has always been in the center of the focus of the United Nations. Of course, the history of how Israel was created is a long debate, as ambassador Mansur has mentioned, there are a window of opportunity for different sort of engagement of the United Nations, and there is more better understanding of the issue as we know after Gaza’s attack last year, and the UN has been engaged increasingly in issues that are vital for peace in the middle east and the Palestinian people in the future”. “click on the picture to make it bigger”

Ambassador Tanin added that “I think the UN is an embodiment of the collective will of the nations, the UN is not a separate power, so if we see how the UN is acting and working, we have to look into how the collective will is working. The collective will of 192 countries, collective will of legal small powers and all nations, so there is a wider argument among the members of the United Nations in supporting the cause of Palestine and also the creation of the Jewish State”.

Palestinian Ambassador Mansour said: “It is true that the maybe the UN can resort to practical measures in order to implement the many resolutions adopted in the Security Council and in the General Assembly because Israel is refusing to abide by each obligation under the chapter as a member of the UN in implementing these resolutions”. He added: “we can understand the frustrations of our people and their friends in seeing hundreds of resolutions adopted in the General Assembly and dozens adopted in the Security Council and they see Israel is not complying with many of these resolutions”.

“So that there is always is a ground for trying to push the UN and it’s institutions and it’s collective will in a direction of trying to deal with Israel not as business as usual. In this connection we are also telling our friends in Europe and you are also in Europe (meaning me) to speak to the governments in Europe including the government here (meaning Austria) where you are located. In each day say also the same things.”

Ambassador Mansour said: “In Europe there are decorations in the positions of the council of the foreign ministers, they always say the right things and they ask Israel to stop building settlements because they are illegal, they are asking them to stop doing what they are doing in Jerusalem because it is illegal and it is also very dangerous because they are pushing the envelop in the direction of the religious confrontation.

They are asking them to stop settlement activities, they are asking them remove the checkpoints, to open our institutions in east Jerusalem, and to lift the blockade against Gaza, but Israel is not listening. So therefore also with our friends in Europe who we met as a committee delegation in the foreign ministry and we spoke with as friends in a frank manner that these good words that you say are not sufficient, because Israel is not listening. You have to resort to practical measures that make Israel listen, and we can’t tell Europe what to do, they have many things that they can do.”

Ambassador Mansour gave examples how the European friends could deal with Israel in response to their ignorance to their demands: “For example, instead of upgrading the relationship with Israel while they are doing these things and not listening to you, may be you should not do that. Another example, Europe is importing goods from Israel, things that are made in the settlements. You should not import them. These are just examples of practical things that could be done and raising them with them, and for those who are as excited and eager like you could help us in this issue. You could help us in raising these issues with the government where you are and other governments of the Europeans countries.”

During the introductory session, the creation of a bank was mentioned, which would give credit to businesses in the West Bank.
Question: Is it not strange to first destroy the economy of the West Bank and then “help” these ruined people by submitting them to usury?
Who will benefit from this project: the businesses subject to usury, or a small clique in Ramallah and their jewish friends?

Response of Ambassador Mansour: “Our people live under occupation, and living under the occupation should not mean that we have to make their life more miserable so that they don’t have relationship with the occupation, because we have schools, we spend money in schools, we import things for schools, we do all these things through the processes with the occupying power. If we import things and equipment for schools for construction, building, for doing everything which that has to do in our daily life of our people including banks, we do it with coordination with the occupation.

For example if need to import a gallon of gasoline to Gaza to help our people to run the generator of electricity we coordinate with the occupying authority. Is this collaboration with the occupation, is it in the interest of our people or against our people to have gasoline to go to Gaza, to have electricity running, to run the hospitals, to look after our kids and to allow our people to be educated? So the fact that we live under the occupation, there are certain things that we are forced to deal with for the interest of our people.

Of course we are waiting for the day that the occupation will not be with us so that we will be in total control of everything related to our people. But in the meantime it is our responsibility, our duty to do everything possible to make life as reasonable as possible while we are living under the occupation. That is why we want to lift the siege, but siege from whom, we have six crossing points between Israel and Gaza. We want these to be open to allow trucks of construction material which come from Ashdod or from Haifa; this is where we import things, to go to Gaza so that we can construct Gaza.

Are we supposed not to do that, and to keep Gaza in the misery as it is? It is an irresponsible thing to do while we are struggling against the occupation, to end the occupation, to try to make the life of our people as reasonable as it could be, and that is within this contacts opening the bank for the benefits of our people and for economic development of our people under the occupation is a step in the right direction is not in the opposite.”

In response to a question by another attendant about when the conflict would end in Palestine, Ambassador Mansour said: “the conflict has already lasted longer than it should be, and that the Israeli occupation of Palestine was the longest occupation in contemporary history. He said that it was our collective responsibility to end the occupation as soon as possible and that the Palestinian Authority had declared that it should be ended within the span of two years from last August 2009. The plan to end the occupation by building the infrastructure of the State would lead to the birth of the State of Palestine, he said. The plan had been endorsed by the quartet of US, Russia, EU and UN in the declaration which they adopted in Moscow this month and there seemed to be collective consensus that it should be implemented.

Ambassador Mansour answered to the question about the best way to get Israel to end its occupation. He said that the international community should bring Israel into compliance. However, he said, if Israel was not going to listen to the international community which was demanding an end to the occupation, stopping settlements because they were illegal, withdrawing from the occupied territory, allowing the Palestinian State to be born, stop doing what they were doing in Jerusalem, lifting the blockade in Gaza, and allowing reconstruction in Gaza to begin, then other practical measures would need to be taken.

He added that Israel should not be allowed to be above international law. We would like to see Israel complying, but if they don’t then it would be the responsibility of all of us to resort to practical measures to force them to come into compliance and there was no other way around it.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

No Results: 12 Billion Dollars Disappeared in Palestine

No Results: 12 Billion Dollars Disappeared in Palestine

Vienna – 25 March 2010 – Kawther Salam – During the noon session of the UN Seminar on

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Assistance to the Palestinian People on 25 March, I had the opportunity to speak Dr. Ghania Malhis, chairwoman of the board of trustees at the Palestinian Economic Policy Research Institute in Ramallah and one of the speakers at the event.

After a personal conversation, she agreed to let me publish her speech, in which she concludes that, despite the considerable economic help from various institutions of the international community and NGOs – about 20 billion US Dollars over the last 15 years – in her own words “it has been almost impossible to trace any positive impact of these mobilized resources on the ground” and “the GDP of 2009 is 13% lower than the GDP of 1999, and the GDP per capita is 30% lower for the same years”.

A comment from this “trouble-maker” as some people call me: There is until now no explanation for how this money disappeared and where to. One hint could be that during the last weeks it was exposed in the Arab media that (Al Al), brother of an assistant to Mahmoud Abbas, bought land from a dead person near the Jordan River in which has been occupied by the jews for decades and declared as a military area. The land does not exist, but a total of 2.700.000 US$ were paid by the PA from the Bank of Jordan as a price of the land. US$ 750.000 of this sum were paid as “fees” to the Bank of Jordan itself, what hints at the involvement of this Bank in the embezzlement of funds donated by the international community towards support for the Palestinian people.

The whole speech about: The Role of Regional Partners of Dr. Malhis is quoted below. A PDF file is (here).


The Middle East region is at a critical crossroad, and its future is at stake. Its prospects are intertwined with our ability to review our practices, evaluate our impact, address our challenges, learn from our mistakes, and leverage our resources to fulfill the responsibilities ahead. At the forefront of the international community’s responsibilities are the rights of the Palestinian people; who have undeniably suffered for over 60 years, subjected to occupation, injustice, aggression after aggression, forced to fled their homes and land, and continuously being denied their most basic human rights and those of freedom, self-determination, dignity and citizenship.

The international community’s efforts to address the rights of the Palestinian people are in no way a compensation on the injustice witnessed, rather a duty to implement international laws and resolutions and support a wronged nation to stand on its feet and establish a state.

UN Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People on 25 March.

International and Arab Assistance to the Palestinian People

There have been evident efforts by the International community, and we continue to witness an accelerated annual growth rate of the international assistance to the Palestinian people.
The average annual contribution from 1994-2000 represented 500 million dollars and jumped to an average of 1 billion dollars a year from 2001-2005. Although 2006 witnessed a slight decrease registering 716 million dollars, the numbers rapidly escalated to 1.5 billion dollars in 2007, 1.7 billion in 2008, 1.8 billion in 2009 and is expected to reach almost 2 billion dollars in 2010. Of these international contributions, one must record the substantial growth in Arab assistance as it has come to represent 25% of International contributions starting from 2001 from a mere 9% between 1994 and 2000.

These numbers are also exclusive of the assistance provided through popular national campaigns from the Arab region, NGOs and other informal channels. These are estimated to have exceeded 5 billion dollars over the past decade mostly in the form of relief campaigns and food and cash donations. These numbers neither include the contributions provided by Arab governments to the UNRWA budget where the bulk of its expenditures are used to support its activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, nor the expenses associated with hosting more than 4 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Egypt.

(The details and trends of Arab contribution to the Palestinian people are included in an annex attached.)

Impact of Donors Assistance on Living Conditions of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Territories

The focus of this paper is a primary assessment of the impact on the ground of the contributions and resources provided to the Palestinian people.

The initial analysis has led to two conflicting conclusions.

The first conclusion: the International community and Arab countries have managed to mobilize substantial resources to assist the Palestinian people amounting to no less than 12 billion dollars over the past 15 years.

An additional 6 to 8 billion dollars were also mobilized during that same period through an array of active Arab and international civil society organizations and NGOs.

These numbers are of course highly encouraging when taking into consideration the size of the targeted part of the Palestinian people which do not exceed 3.9 million people in the occupied Palestinian territories and their GDP does not exceed 4.5 billion dollars annually according to the 2009 estimates.

The second conclusion: it has been almost impossible to trace any positive impact of these mobilized resources on the ground, even when taking into consideration the substantial investment carried by the Palestinian private sector in the occupied Palestinian territories, including those made by the Palestinian Diaspora as according to findings, these investment represent one third of the national GDP.

There has been of course a progress in the establishment of Palestinian Authority institutions, along with security, fiscal and administrative reform efforts, but these tens of billions of dollars spent in the past decade have ultimately failed to bring back the performance witnessed in 1999 on the socio-economic front.

Main Economic and Social Indicators:

  • In 2009, the GDP is 13% lower than that of 1999 and the GDP per Capita 30% lower for that same year.
  • The production capacity in the occupied territories was higher in the early nineties prior to the peace process, and the registered contribution of the agricultural and industrial sectors to the GDP did not exceed a mere 18.2% and only contributed to 29.2% of employment.
  • The exports coverage to imports became a feeble 19%.
  • The ability of Domestic Production to cover domestic national consumption has highly deteriorated resulting in an increase in dependency on Israeli imports and a heavy reliance on Arab and international aid to finance the cost of these imports.
  • We have also witnessed a decrease in the Palestinian authority revenue stream resulting in its turn in an evident deterioration in its ability to provide basic services such as health, education, social development and security unless heavily subsidized by Arab and international donations and aid to support its expenditures.
  • In 2009, international support was required to address a budget deficit of 61.4% equivalent to 39% of the Palestinian GDP.

And these facts and numbers are just a start; future projections are much bleaker as government payroll alone represents more than 59.6% of the government’s expenditures and 22% of its GDP although public sector employment has become heavily contained.

We are also facing a structural distortion in public expenditures, with security representing 33% while health and education combined correspond to no more than 29%. Unfortunately, these practices are expected to continue if not amplify. Despite clear restrictions on government recruitment, the security sector has contributed to more than 60% of new recruitments in the first six months of 2009 while the education sector recruitment did not exceed 29.9% and the health sector failed to compensate the loss of 94 employees.

And despite donors’ generous assistance and contribution, we witnessed an incessant increase in the need for the Palestinian Authority to borrow from local banks to meet its obligations whereas the accumulated public debts of the Palestinian Authority to the local banking system has exceeded 733 million dollars in mid 2009 with accumulated arrears payments to the private sector of 188 million dollars; and therefore affecting the private sector’s ability to mobilize financial resources.

The correlation with unemployment became extremely evident, with an average unemployment rate in the West Bank reaching 21% and doubling to a staggering 42.4% in the Gaza Strip. These rates are even higher among the youth (ages 20-24) to reach 29% and 57% respectively. Moreover, the World Bank report states that during the second quarter of 2009, more than 85% of the youth in Gaza between the ages of 20-24 were unemployed.

Poverty has also extended its reach to include by the end of 2009 one fifth of the West Bank population (19.1%) and more than half of Gaza’s population (51.8%) living under the poverty line, one third of them in the West Bank and two thirds of them in Gaza experiencing severe poverty.

International and Arab Donors’ Responsibilities

These numbers and facts are giving us a clear indication that these practices and contributions have failed to capitalize on the resources mobilized, quite the contrary; one cannot but feel that these resources have been wasted. When the outcome of more than a 12 billion dollar investment results in such disastrous numbers, then it is obvious that immense mistakes were made on a strategic level.

Looking back, the mistakes done were not the responsibility of a sole partner, rather it has been the result of collective failures of all stakeholders from the Arab countries, to the International donor countries and institutions to the Palestinian Authority and Israel as well as the cumulative effect of an assistance that became donor and even charity driven rather than investment driven.

The international donors have undeniably drifted from their course which they had specified at the donors’ conference in October 1993 in Washington D.C. which included more than 45 countries and institutions that mobilizing funds to support the peace process was a strategic investment in peace, and clearly stated in March 1994 in the Paris conference that urgent and immediate needs to the Palestinian people have to be coupled with an investment aiming to reform the Palestinian economic structural distortion and reintegrate the Palestinian economy both regionally and globally to and ensure its sustainable development.

The Arab countries have also deviated from their decisions taken in the October 2000 Arab Emergency Summit in Cairo where it was clearly stated that emergency relief to the Palestinian people has to be coupled with developmental aid, and that 80% of the Arab funds mobilized should be channeled into investments to enhance the capacity of the Palestinian Authority and supporting it in creating a viable independent economy, more integrated with Arab, Regional and international economies in order to reduce its heavy reliance on lessen the smothering imposition of Israel.

Unfortunately the efforts and funds were utilized to fund a fading peace process, one that lost its anchor; rather than fund the very basis of what can constitute the foundations of a lasting peace.

The approach taken was a reactive one, where donors’ countries responded to crisis after crisis rather than work on an active engaged plan to build a stable environment and therefore avoid and preempt crises. Thus resources were wasted in trying to compensate and respond to the urgent needs of the Palestinian losses as a result of the aggressive Israeli policies and practices such as closures, embargos, confiscation of agricultural land and, control of water resources, demolition and destruction of agricultural produce, industrial plants and services, public and private properties, impediments to trade and crippling the movement of goods and people. The cost of such practices overshadowing all resources mobilized by donors therefore resulting in an always negative impact no matter the size of the investment.

Palestinians Responsibility

The Palestinians, and in specific the Palestinian Authority, also hold a sizeable responsibility; having failed to invest the funds mobilized by Arab and International donors on development and used them to cover their current running expenditures instead.

The Palestinian Authority failed to provide developmental sustainable solutions to unemployment, choosing governmental recruitment over encouraging and nurturing a vibrant productive economy to create jobs.

They have also chosen to take the easy way to improve public revenues by financing the budget deficit through increasing the trade balance deficit, as well as competing with the private sector through public investments in vibrant sectors of the economy rather tha

n invest in infrastructure to enable the private sector to flourish.

The Palestinian Authority has also failed to timely address allegations of misuse of funds, power and mismanagement as well as a lack of accountability and transparency in addition to fostering a large public sector that exceeds the national needs.

Israel’s Responsibility

Israel’s responsibility is a colossal one. Israel’s oblivion to its responsibilities according to the peace treaty signed in 1993, has resulted in a continuation of building colonial practices: Isolating the Gaza Strip and the West

Bank from each other and from East Jerusalem, confiscating Palestinian lands , building Jewish settlements across the occupied territories, linking them with bypass roads and dividing the West Bank into isolated ‘cantons’, building a separation barrier to annex West Bank land while encircling Palestinian population centers, imposing restrictions on the movement of goods and people, and continued its practices of occupation through the confiscation of land, the control of resources, the building of settlements in Palestinian cities, neighborhoods and villages further crippling their movements through closures, barriers and checkpoints.

The impact of these practices in numbers according to B’Tselem statistics, World Bank, IMF, and UNCTAD reports can be summarized in the following:

Human Losses:

In the last decade, Israel has killed more than 7605 people, mostly youth and children. This number represents 0.2% of the entire population in the occupied territories. For comparison purposes, this is the equivalent of killing 62,000 Americans, or 265,000 Chinese.

Israel has arrested more than 69,000 Palestinians, 8750 of which are still in Israeli prisons. These represent 1.8% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip population, the equivalent of 565,000 Americans and 2.386 million Chinese.

Material Losses:

Israel has confiscated in the last decade more than 271,697 dunums (1 dunum equivalent to 1000 sqm) and gave orders to confiscate another 80,445 dunums in the West Bank. It has also destroyed agricultural produce on hundreds of thousands of dunums, and in 3 weeks during its war on Gaza, in January 2009 Israel has flattened 13% of Gaza Strip territories.

Israel confiscates 85% of the Palestinian water.

Israel is building a 706 km wall, 85% of it on Palestinian Land in the West bank, and confiscated 49,291 dunums till now to build it, and taken into consideration that only 58.3% of it is completed so far, with 10% in the process and therefore more confiscation of land is on the way to complete it next year. This wall has segregated communities and cities, isolated people from reaching their jobs and the city centers and separated people from water resources and services.

Israel has uprooted more than 1,191,106 trees.

Israel has demolished in the past decade 1,969 homes; 1,320 of which in the West Bank and Gaza and 649 in East Jerusalem. This does not include the destruction of houses during the war on Gaza. They have issued notices to an additional 6,665 homes for demolition. It is important to note that since 1967, Israel has demolished more than 24,145 Palestinian homes.

According to the UN OCHA report in June 2009, there are more than 613 barrier and checkpoints in the West bank and Jerusalem, although its overall size does not exceed 5640 km2, and the green line borders separating the West bank from Israel do not exceed 307 km.

In violation of article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention whereas the occupying country is not allowed to transfer its population to the occupied territories, and the Oslo Agreements which affirm the unity of the Occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government continued to expand its settlements. Settlements represented 69 km2 in 1992, 188 km2 in 2008, a growth of 272%. The number of settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem escalated from around 250,000 settlers in 1993 to 680,000 in 2009, a growth of 260%.

Thus representing 17.4% of the West Bank population and 41.4% of the population in East Jerusalem. This is in addition to the new planned 50,000 settlement units as well as the 1600 new units in Shofat in Jerusalem which were announced by the Israeli government during Biden’s visit to prevent the collapse of the peace process early this month.

There are of course the losses incurred by the last aggression on Gaza, where primary estimates are exceeding 3 billion dollar, excluding the severe impact of a continuous embargo of more than 3 years on more than 1.5 million people and its consequences on the economy and their livelihoods.

How to Move Forward

These harsh examples are frightening, but placed in the context of a meeting to discuss the way forward and the establishment of a viable Palestinian State is an indication that the international community is fully aware of its responsibility towards the Palestinian people, and towards stability and peace in the whole region.

Our efforts need to multiply and result in well-studied strategies for development that will reflect our sincerity and commitment to the Palestinian people. These efforts need to be translated into massive reforms and visionary partnerships between donors, the Palestinian Authority and key sectors of Palestinian society, which would signify a paradigm shift in developmental strategies, a main component of which needs to be a capable and innovative workforce.

And the working model that can most effectively translate such strategies into positive realities is one that proposes to bring together prudent Arab, International public and private actors, progressive coordinated policies, a responsible private sector and an engaged civil society, whose purpose is to create a highly skilled, dynamic workforce that will push the Palestinians towards sustainable and balanced development. We need to work together to create the much needed infrastructure for a flourishing Palestinian economy, one that nurtures creativity and innovation, a productive knowledge economy that will allow the Palestinian people to build a life and not just an existence.

Reforms in education on all levels are highly needed; partnerships need to be forged; expertise, knowledge and transfer of skills are crucial for success, investments in youth which constitute the majority of the Palestinian population need to be made. And these efforts are just a start, but a focused one nonetheless. The Palestinian people are in need of regional and international strategic economic and social investments rather than a charity or donation driven approach as a vibrant and productive economy is a product of wedding the accumulated efforts of all partners and providing a favorable milieu for innovation and creativity.

A partnership with international and regional universities and research centers and the exchange of knowledge is more valuable than fathomed. Joint research programs, exchange of knowledge, visiting professors, scholars and students will add a new dimension to the learning and educational experience in Palestine.

Tackling the unemployment challenge can be achieved by encouraging entrepreneurship. While the private sector (internationally, regionally and nationally) can provide mentorship, guidance, capital, knowledge, experience and a vast network, the public sector can facilitate the entry of small and medium enterprises into the market through tax incentives, clear and smooth procedures, lower registration fees, recognition and encouragement of innovation, the promotion of incubators in universities and research labs and the adoption of laws that protect new and small businesses. International, regional and local civil society organizations can provide support through capacity building, and community development. Encouraging the import of Palestinian products will have an undeniable impact on the economy, unemployment, and poverty.

Lending an expert hand, sharing knowledge and technologies, linking Palestinian producers with regional and international markets, weaving local, regional and global effective partnerships…This is no easy task, but its impact on the ground is guaranteed to be a positive one.

Concluding Remarks

Nonetheless, all these efforts will be of ZERO significance, unless they are coupled with a political solution that ends the Israeli occupation, as people cannot think of a future, of innovation, creativity and productivity, when their daily existence is being threatened and unwelcome.

It goes without saying that mistakes were made and resources were wasted. It is also obvious to us, that a paradigm shift is needed when assistance is concerned, and mindsets need to be shifted from donations to focus on socio-economic investments in order to provide sustainable solutions.

But the clearest fact remains to be that without an urgent end of occupation, all efforts will be shattered by the aggressive Israeli practices, destroying the hopes and dreams of peace and stability in this vital region, knowing that another opportunity can take decades to arise if at all.


  • B’Tselem Israeli Information Center on Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories
  • Ghania Malhis; Arab Official Financial Assistance to Palestinian people, reality and future prospects; November 2007
  • Ghania Malhis; Palestinian Public Sector Reality and the Need for Structural Reform; 1998
  • Islamic Development Bank Al Aqsa Fund Periodical reports on assistance to Palestinian people
  • League of Arab States Periodical reports on Arab countries budget support to the Palestinian Authority; April 2002 –October 2009
  • League of Arab States: Resolutions of Arab Summit, Foreign Ministerial Council, and Arab Economic and Social Council on Assistance to Palestinian people
  • Palestinian National Authority Plan “Ending the occupation, establishing the State”; July 2009
  • PASSIA Diary 2010 Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs
  • UNCTAD Report on Assistance to the Palestinian people; August 2009
  • UNCTAD Report on Policy Alternatives for Sustained Palestinian Development and State Formation; May 2009
  • United State Institute of Peace; Scott Lasensky and Robert Grace; Dollars and Diplomacy: Foreign Aid and the Palestinian Question; August 2006.
  • World Bank, “Interim strategy for West Bank and Gaza for the period FY08-FY10 and request for replenishment of the trust fund for Gaza and West Bank”; March 25, 2008
  • World Bank Economic Monitoring Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee
  • World Bank Report Palestinian Economic Prospects: Gaza Recovery and West Bank Revival; June 8, 2009
  • World Bank Report on a Palestinian State in Two Years: Institutions for Economic Revival; September 22, 2009

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