Initiative for Structural Change To Achieve National Recovery

Initiative for Structural Change To Achieve National Recovery

Structural change in the Palestinian system is urgently required and ultimately inevitable to achieve the needed national recovery.  It must take place in a peaceful manner and without prejudice to the constitutional institutions, including the preservation of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian National Authority.

The Palestinian elections could have been a tool for democratic change. But backing down from elections was a dangerous development whose effects must be addressed, while ensuring that regular elections must remain the primary mechanism adopted in the Palestinian democratic system. Concurrently, we affirm the centrality of Jerusalem, as the capital of the State of Palestine, and the centrality of Jerusalem in confronting Israeli policies and plans, also requiring Palestinian rejection of Israel's permission or approval to hold our elections there.

In addition to retracting from the elections, there were comprehensive and united confrontation of our people everywhere against the aggression of Israel, the oppressive colonial occupation power, especially in the Gaza Strip that exhibited heroic steadfastness. These developments had important consequences with far reaching impact on the Palestinian situation.

In light of the above, and based on the program of action of the National Democratic Assembly, the Assembly presents a specific vision for structural change and presents it to our people as well as to the Palestinian factions and political actors. This vision includes four fundamental proposals and one proposal for the mechanism, all of which form one package.

It is necessary to launch a serious dialogue that takes into consideration the new political and demographic map, provided that the dialogue addresses this vision or any other ideas focused on the necessary structural change and that an agreement is reached on an integrated package that includes the establishment of a transitional leadership body with a defined membership, with a clear sunset clause, to directly oversee the implementation of the agreed-on package.

In this regard, there must be no return to the same tried consumed scenarios, like a round of dialogue in which the same factions participate, or partial solutions such as forming a government or convening a meeting the [PLO] Central council among others, or by repeating previous experiences regarding the reconstruction of Gaza. Such attempts will not lead to the desired results and are attempts to reproduce the same reality or even thwart what has been achieved.

In light of the above, we are convinced of the need for an integrated package of structural change, and we believe that our vision meets these requirements. We invite you to support, endorse and push for the implementation of this initiative, which includes the following components:

First: restoring unity and ending division and the foundations for achieving this.

Second: Rebuilding PLO bodies, starting with the formation of a new National Council and convening general elections.

Third: The establishment of a factional government with the participation of independent persons, which is capable of facing current challenges, including implementing the agreed upon steps to end the division, with political program must that enables it to cooperate with the international community.

Fourth: Forming a national legal committee to review and amend some laws, including the election law, in preparation for issuing them in their new form.

Fifth: Forming a temporary leadership body that functions until the above is accomplished.

First: Restoring unity and ending division and the foundations for achieving this:

1)     Reaffirm the requirements of ending the split as follows: 

  •   The return of the Gaza Strip, as part of the Palestinian political and administrative system.
  •  Establishing a full partnership between all concerned parties in the political system, including the National Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  •   Develop a clear political program as a basis for the above, which would become the program of the Palestine Liberation Organization, with the central goal being achieving national independence in the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.


2)     Develop the details of the national understanding to resolve all outstanding issues on the following bases: 

Personnel File: 

·       The return of the original Palestinian Authority employees, or those of them who are not of retirement age, to their positions while taking into consideration the promotions they missed in the time that elapsed. 

·       Giving priority to the absorption of employees appointed by Hamas, provided that the hirings do not exceed the staff limits for each ministry.

·       A fund is established to compensate all remaining employees reasonably and equitably.

·       A commitment not to discriminate in any way against any Palestinian employee on the basis of geography.

·       Employing the necessary expertise in this field to contribute to developing the details of the above.


Civil Security Personnel File: 

·       The same rules outlined above are implemented, in addition to no party affiliation.

·       Benefit from the experience of Hamas in the Gaza Strip in this regard.

·       A new body is created to guard facilities and officials, comprising 3,000 personnel.


·       Review all decisions according [public] land in the Gaza Strip as well as in the West Bank, and reacquiring the lands that were acquired illegally and unjustifiably given away while also resolving all the legal standing/status resulting from such actions.

·       Freeing up the Gaza Strip shore from all encroachments on public and private property, allowing for the establishment of high-level investments on the shore as well as the rebuilding of the “Muntada” (former presidential compound).


Law and the Judiciary:


·       A national legal committee is composed to review all applicable laws with the aim of unifying legislations through subsequent decisions of the new Legislative Council, thus ending the existing disparity in laws, including the Ottoman, British, Jordanian and Egyptian laws.

·       The judiciary is unified under the supervision and responsibility of a reconstituted Supreme Judicial Council, while the Public Prosecution Office is also unified within one central structure.


Weapons of the Resistance [Factions]: 

·        The weapons of the resistance shall be preserved and shall not be negotiated on, except within the framework of the national independence of the State of Palestine.

·        The absolute commitment of all parties not to exhibit arms [in public], nor use it to interfere in civil and national affairs, as well as not to try to influence the course of political matters with said weapons.

·        Commitment [by all concerned] to develop a comprehensive strategy for the use of weapons and the exercise of resistance, in accordance with the unified and joint Palestinian decision by the “unified leadership.”


Social Reconciliation and Transitional Justice: 

·        The commitment of all parties to accept transitional justice and to conduct social reconciliations as part that process.

·        Establishing a fund to help solve some outstanding issues, including paying “blood money” and ensuring justice for the victims and community justice.

·        Establishing an overall mechanism for transitional justice.


National wealth and major projects: 

·        Reviewing the Palestinian people's ownership of the East Mediterranean gas, overcoming any illegal matters in this connection, and establishing an acceptable national mechanism to manage this file.

·        Applying pressure on Israel, in cooperation with the countries of the eastern Mediterranean, to recognize Palestinian ownership and Palestinian investment in the Palestinian people's share in this gas.

·        Laying out the necessary plans for major projects, such as the port, the airport, electricity, water desalination, and the modern circular road around the Gaza Strip, provided that it is linked to the corridor connecting the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.


Obligations of the [Palestinian] Authority towards the Gaza Strip: 

·        Comply with all the natural duties stipulated in the law towards the Gaza Strip, which is part of Palestine, as well as towards the people of the Gaza Strip who are part of the Palestinian people, and towards Gaza’s employees as part of the Palestinian public sector. 

·        There shall be no discrimination in the distribution of the financial resources of the Palestinian National Authority to the different regions of the State of Palestine.


Democratic Foundation and public freedoms: 

·        All parties [concerned] commit to democracy as the foundation and form of governance, which means [respect for] the rule of law, freedom to form political parties, regular elections and the peaceful transfer of power, in addition to good governance in its various expressions.

·        All parties [concerned] also commit to public freedoms and equality before the law, including basic freedoms, non-discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion or geographical affiliation, as well as freedom of expression and freedom of worship among others.

·        Everyone commits to fight corruption in all its forms, activate the necessary mechanisms in this regard, and work to create a sound anti-corruption culture in all its forms, ensure transparency and accountability, and establish the foundations of integrity.


·        The management of border crossings is carried out, whereby the responsibility for their operation is carried out within what is mentioned in the clauses of “staff” and “civil security personnel.”

·        Efforts are exerted to ensure the free movement of people and goods to and from the Palestinian land without hindrances.

·        The collection of the necessary and legal fees on goods, in line with [relevant] regulations, while also taking into account the obligation not to exclude duplicity in tax collection, and all collection-related tasks are carried out under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and Customs [Authority].

 Second: Rebuilding PLO bodies, starting with the formation of a new National Council and convening general elections: 

  The National Council shall have 396 members. 

  The Council shall be composed of three parts as follows: 

·        Elected members of the Legislative Council, as natural members of the National Council (132).

·        The elected representatives of the unified and reconstructed unions and similar bodies, the elected representatives of the unified Palestinian communities [in exile], and the elected representatives in the Palestinian [refugee] camps abroad (132).

·        Representatives of the different factions as well representatives of specific segments of Palestinian society, such as religious leaders, university professors (academics), intellectuals, artists, writers, and patriotic businessmen. These sectors shall represent Palestinians from within Palestine and in exile and numbers of representation shall be agreed on by consensus. 

·        The aforementioned requires holding general elections, including holding elections for the Legislative Council, provided that the elections and all other preliminary steps take place within a period not exceeding 6-7 months from the date of the agreement.


   An agreement shall be reached on a political program that will form the basis for the work of the Palestine Liberation Organization, provided that it is centered on the commitment to the central national goal, which is the            achievement of national independence in the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] as its capital.     

  The political program shall affirm the rights of the refugees, which are the right of return, compensation and the right to recover ownership of lands and other properties; it shall also define the relationship with our people in the   ‘48 lands on the basis of the unity of the Palestinian people regardless their place of residence. Further, a distinction shall be made between Palestine on the one hand and the State of Palestine on the other.     

  This clause requires a return to simultaneous Legislative and Presidential elections, as holding legislative elections is of absolute necessity to the formation of the National Council

Third: Forming a new government: 

·        A new government shall be established by consensus, provided that it is a political government with the participation of competent independents, so that it is able to meet current challenges, including implementing the agreed upon steps to end the division. 

·        The government's endorsed program shall be one that allows the government to cooperate with the international community and concerned parties.


Fourth: Reviewing and Amending Some Laws: 

·        A national legal committee shall be formed to review, amend and issue some laws in their new form as soon as possible, including the election law. 

·        The committee shall submit its report to the temporary leadership body, and it shall forward the outcome of its work, namely the amended laws, to the president, who will issue them in the necessary legal form. 

·        The work of this committee shall commence in earnest at the beginning [of the transitional phase], and it is different from the work of the legal committee formed within the framework of reconciliation and restoring unity.


Fifth: Forming a temporary leadership body until the completion of the above (implementation mechanism): 

·        The first step in implementing the initiative shall be by forming a temporary leadership body, for a period ranging from six to seven months; The leadership body shall be responsible for implementing the adopted steps as well as supervising the implementation of Items One I to Four. 

·        The temporary leadership body shall consist of about seventy leading figures, including from the Executive Committee, the Central Committee of Fatah, the political bureaus of the factions, electoral lists, and independents. Membership of the body shall be determined by name and shall include fair representation of women and youth. This body shall perform, among other things, the tasks assigned to the meeting of secretaries-general and the temporary leadership framework. 

·        The temporary leadership body shall be dissolved upon the expiry of the agreed-on period in order for the normal leadership bodies to begin their functions.