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This is Appendix II of The platform of the national unity government
1. On March 17, 2007, Palestinian national unity government prime minister Ismail Haniya presented to the Palestinian Legislative Council the platform of the new national unity government. They contained several semantic changes and additions to the first draft, which was issued on March 15. In our assessment, it was an attempt to make the platform more palatable and easier to market to the international community, especially the United States and the European countries.
2. Despite its rhetorical acrobatics, and despite the attempts to use convoluted language to blur its basic extremist nature, it is perfectly clear that the government's platform is in accord with Hamas's radical ideology. The platform, ratified by the Palestinian Legislative Council, expresses a radicalization in the Palestinian positions compared with both the Mecca Accord and the prisoners' document on which it is based. That is particularly manifested in the legitimization given to the continuation of terrorist attacks against Israel, the adherence to the "right to return" (as interpreted by Hamas) and by the constraints placed on Abu Mazen's ability to achieve ratification for agreements he and the PLO make with Israel.
3. The new government's platform has nine sections which deal with issues related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to the internal Palestinian arena: The first section deals with politics, the second with Jerusalem, the third with confrontations with the "[Israeli] occupation," the fourth with security, the fifth with the Palestinian legal system, the sixth with the economy, the seventh with reforms, the eighth with the Palestinian value system and the nights with the PA's international relations.
4. The following are the prominent issues relating to the conflict with Israel:
A. The government confirms that the keys to security and stability in the region are the termination of the Israeli "occupation" of "Palestinian lands" (which are not specified) and recognition of the Palestinian people's right to self determination. The government will work to "terminate the occupation" and to implement the "legitimate rights" of the Palestinian people, the first of which is the establishment of an independent state with full sovereignty over all the lands occupied in 1967 and with Jerusalem as its capital. This expression of the intention to establish a state with the 1967 borders but if has not been determined that the establishment of such a state marks the end of the Palestinian demands. It can be viewed as an intermediate stage of the process of destroying the State of Israel. According to the platform, that will enable the construction of "a strong, solid foundation for peace, security and prosperity in the region for the coming generations" (Paragraph 1 of the political section). The section uses terminology acceptable to western ears, such as peace, security and prosperity, but does not mention the right of the State of Israel to exist.
B. The government is committed to protecting the national interests of the Palestinian people as ratified by the Palestinian Legislative Council and in accordance with basic Palestinian law, the document of national reconciliation ("the prisoners' document") and decisions made at Arab summit meetings. On that basis the government will "honor" the international decisions and agreements signed by the PLO (Paragraph 2 of the political section). The document uses the expression " honor the agreements " (similar to the wording of the Mecca Accord) but does not express commitment to implement them.
C. The government is opposed to the idea proposed by the United States and Israel regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders (Paragraph 4 of the political section), but at the same time no mention is made of the Palestinian state's permanent borders. The government asserts the "right to return" and its adherence to it and calls upon the international community to carry out UN Resolution 194 (December 1948) regarding the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their lands and property, which they left and to receive compensation (Paragraph 5 of the political section).
D. The government asserts that all forms of "resistance" (i.e., violence and terrorism), "including, among other [forms], mass popular resistance against the occupation," are the " legitimate right of the Palestinian people," ensured by international conventions (Paragraph 1 of the section dealing with the "[Israeli] occupation"). The same international convention the Hamas government is referring to prohibits acts of terrorism against civilians, and the cessation of terrorism and violence is one of the demands the Quartet made of the Hamas government.
E. The government will work to institute a lull in the fighting [tahadiya] and to extend so that it is full, mutual and commits both sides. That will be done in return for Israel 's commitment to terminate all measures of the occupation: targeted killings, detentions, raids, razing buildings, exposing and confiscating lands and excavations in Jerusalem. Israel is also to remove the roadblocks, open the crossings, remove all limitations on freedom of movement and to determine a schedule for releasing prisoners held in Israeli jails (Paragraph 2 of the section dealing with the "[Israeli] occupation"). It is important to note that the term referred to is "lull in the fighting," that is, a decrease in the amount of terrorism and violence, not a complete ceasefire (that is, the platform legitimizes the continuation of terrorist attacks against Israel and at the same time demands that Israel cease all its counterterrorist activities).
F. The PLO and Abu Mazen have the authority to conduct negotiations with Israel. Every important agreement reached during negotiations will be presented to the new Palestinian National Council for ratification or will be decided by a referendum in which the Palestinian public residing both within the PA-administered territories and abroad will participate, in accordance with an appropriate law (Paragraph 3 of the section dealing with the "[Israeli] occupation"). The paragraph places restraints on Abu Mazen and enables Hamas, its supporters and Palestinian living abroad to undermine any agreement reached.
G. The government will encourage the relevant parties to accelerate the conclusion of the affair of the abducted Israeli soldier as part of an "honorable" prisoner exchange deal (Paragraph 4 of the section dealing with the "[Israeli] occupation"). The platform also states that the government will work assiduously to release Palestinian prisoners in Israel jails (Paragraph 6 of the political section).
H. In the updated version of the platform a section was added dealing with Jerusalem. It was decided that a " high committee for Jerusalem affairs " would be established, in coordination with the PLO executive committee, to monitor the "steadfastness" of the Jerusalem residents. The government will confront Israeli policy relating to Jerusalem (including a condemnation of the way Israel administers Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque), and will allot resources from its budget to support the firm stand of Palestinian Jerusalem residents (Paragraphs 1 and 2 the second section dealing with Jerusalem).
5. The following are the most important issues in the sections dealing with internal Palestinian affairs:
A. One of the important tasks of the national unity government will be to acquire control over internal security (i.e., to achieve calm and end anarchy). That will be done in by the government in cooperation with Abu Mazen. To that end a " high national security council " will be established which will have authority over all the security forces and an apparatus responsible for their activities and for determining policy. The security forces will be reformed and will no longer be identified with any organization or body. A security program will be instituted which will rid Palestinian society of anarchy, inspect weapons and ensure civilian safety (Section 4).
B. The new government will cooperate with the judiciary to ensure reform and to carry out the reorganization of the legal system to enable it to fulfill its duties in fighting corruption and preserving the rule of law (Section 5). The government will establish administrative and financial reform and will pass laws to strengthen the fight against corruption. The government will reinforce moral values and prevent the exploitation of public funds (Section 7).
C. The government will act to establish national reconciliation, strengthen national unity, guard public welfare and defend political pluralism and democracy. The government is committed to supporting the families of shaheeds [martyrs] and prisoners, to extend aid to them and to tend to their needs. The government is committed to caring for the social, health and educational needs of Palestinian citizens (Section 9).
D. The government will work to terminate the " oppressive siege " placed on the Palestinian people by regional and international factors. The government calls for a reexamination of the economic agreement signed in Paris [in 1994] to liberate Palestinian economy from its dependence on Israel. The government will give priority to advancing the "national economy" but will act to put an end to monopolies and encourage the private sector. The government will encourage economic ties with the Arab-Muslim world, the European Union and other countries (Section 6).
E. The government stresses its "Arab-Islamic link" but at the same time will work to institute correct, normal relations with all countries and with international institutions, including the UN and the Security Council. The government is interested in close relations with the EU, Russia, the People's Republic of China, Japan and Latin America. The government expects them to exert pressure on Israel to withdraw its forces from the "occupied Palestinian territories" and stop its "acts of aggression" against Palestinians. The revised version of the platform has as an addendum a call to the United States to respect the establishment of the national unity government and to "stop using a double standard in its policy." It also calls for good relations between the Palestinian people and the American people (i.e., between people and not between governments) (Section 9).
Based on the inalienable rights of our people, with a commitment to the document of national reconciliation, in light of the letter of appointment [of Ismail Haniya as prime minister] and assuming that we are still in the process of self-liberation and [nation] building, the platform of the [Palestinian] national unity government is based on the following [principles]:
First and foremost -- The political sphere
1. The government asserts that security and stability in the region are conditional upon the termination of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and on the recognition of the Palestinian people's right to self determination. The government will work with our Arab brothers and with the international community to terminate the occupation and to return our people's legitimate rights, the first of which is the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty over all the lands occupied in 1967 and with Jerusalem as its capital. That will enable us to build a firm, consolidated foundation for peace, security and prosperity throughout the region and [for] generations to come.
2. The government is committed to protecting the supreme national interests of the Palestinian people, to guard its rights, to protect and develop its achievements, to work to realize its national goals as ratified by the decisions of the [Palestinian] Legislative Council in the articles of the basic law (i.e., the Palestinian constitution], in the national reconciliation document and by the decisions made at the Arab summit meetings. On that basis the government will honor the legitimate international decisions [i.e., decisions made by the UN and international agreements] and agreements signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
3. The government will devote special efforts to encouraging all Palestinian [political] forces to accelerate the implementation of the Cairo Agreement with relation to the PLO.
4. The government commits itself to rejecting what is referred to as "a state with temporary borders," as suggested by the American-Israeli plan.
5. A reaffirmation of the right to return and adherence to it and a call to the international community to carry out [UN] Resolution 194 regarding the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to the lands and property they left, and to receive compensation.
6. The government is committed to working assiduously to release the heroes and heroines [held] in Israeli jails, and to release the members of the [Palestinian] parliament, the ministers and chairman and the members of the local councils who were abducted [by Israel].
7. The government is committed to oppose the measures [taken by] the occupation in [Palestinian] lands: assassinations [i.e., targeted killings], detentions, raids, military roadblocks, and to deal with the issues of the crossings, the siege and the closure.
8. [The government is committed to] consolidating the ties with [our] sister Arab-Muslim states, friendly states and the [political] powers interested in liberty, justice, openness and cooperation regionally and internationally on a basis of mutual respect.
1. The establishment of a high committee for Jerusalem affairs in accordance with the executive committee of the PLO to monitor the issues of steadfastness in Jerusalem and to allot funds from a clear [i.e., definite] government budget for Jerusalem, included in the general budget.
2. To oppose [manifestations of] Israeli policy regarding Jerusalem -- as related to the land, people and holy places -- and to work to allot sufficient resources in the budget [of the Palestinian government] to support the steadfastness of the [Palestinian] residents of Jerusalem. In addition, public condemnation of the acts of the occupation regarding everything related to the city and holy Al-Aqsa mosque, while raising the issue of Jerusalem in local and international arenas and calling upon the sons of the Arab-Islamic nation to be responsible for defending Jerusalem and supporting its residents politically and through the media.
Third: Confronting the [Israeli] occupation
1. The government asserts that all forms of "resistance," including mass popular resistance against the occupation, is the Palestinian people's legitimate right, ensured by all accepted international conventions. It is our people's right to defend themselves against continued Israeli aggression.
2. The government -- through national reconciliation -- will work to establish and extend the lull in the fighting, so that it becomes full and mutual, in return for the Israeli occupation's commitment to stop all its measures, including assassinations [i.e., targeted killings], detentions, raids, razing buildings, exposing and confiscating lands, stopping the earthworks in Jerusalem, removing the roadblocks, reopening the crossings, removing limitations on travel, and determining procedure and a defined schedule for releasing prisoners.
3. The government ratifies what was said in the national conciliation document, according to which conducting negotiations is within the authority of the PLO and the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, based on adherence to and realizing the national Palestinian goals, and based on the defense of unshakable Palestinian rights and principles. Any diplomatic agreement reached will be presented to the new Palestinian National Council for ratification and signing, or a general referendum will be held of the Palestinian people at home and abroad within the framework of an appropriate law.
4. The government will work to encourage the relevant parties involved to accelerate the conclusion of the affair of the captive Israeli soldier as part of an honorable exchange of prisoners and the return of the deported [Palestinians].
5. The government emphasizes that regional peace and stability depend on the termination of the occupation, the return of our people's national rights, the removal of the racist fence [i.e., the security fence] and the settlements, the termination of Judaization, of making Jerusalem a Jewish city and [the termination of] the policy of annexation and every form of racial discrimination, and the return of [the Palestinians'] rights.
Fourth -- Security
The national unity government is aware of the seriousness of the internal security situation, and is of the opinion that one of its most important [missions] is taking control of the existing security situation. To that end, full cooperation is necessary between the presidency [the office of the chairman] and the government. To achieve that, the government will rely on the following [things]:
1. Issuing a call and working for the reconvening of the high council for national security as the highest authority of all security forces and the agency for directing activity and determining policy.
2. [Determining] the structure of the security forces, building them on professional foundations, working to supply their needs and carrying out a general reform which will eliminate partisan affiliation. In addition, they will be distanced from political alliances and struggles, their loyalty will be only to the country and they will be committed to carrying out the decisions of their political leaders. Those who work for the security establishment will carry out only the duties delegated to them.
3. Commitment to follow the guidelines for the service in security forces, as ratified by the Legislative Council.
4. [The government is committed to] formulating an overall security program to end all manifestations of anarchy, security confusion and attacks [by Palestinians against each other], to protect blood [i.e., life], self-respect, and public and private property and assets. The confiscation of [illegal] weapons [will be carried out], ensuring civilian safety. [The government will work] to correct injustice [done to individuals] through [respect for] the rule of law and support for the police so that they may carry out their duties and the decisions of the legal [system] in the best way possible.
Fifth -- The legal sphere
1. The government, in full cooperation with the judiciary, will work to ensure a reform of the legal system and its operation, and to [fully] protect all its institutions. Thus it will be able to fulfill its responsibilities, carrying out its duties [of ensuring] justice and fighting corruption. That will be done [by] the [strict] preservation of its independence, implementing the rule of law and enforcing the law with fairness, transparency, without bias and by monitoring the files relating to corruption and attacks on public property.
2. The government stresses that it will act in accordance with the [Palestinian] basic law which determines the relations between the three authorities based on their separation and honoring the authority given to each by the basic law.
3. The government will support his honor the president [i.e., the chairman] in fulfilling his duties. It will strictly ensure full cooperation with the Palestinian presidency in accordance with the law and will work with the Legislative Council and the judiciary to develop a Palestinian political system on which to found [the existence] of one united strong national authority.
Sixth -- The economy
1. The government seeks to terminate the various forms of the oppressive siege forced upon our people.
2. The government calls for a reexamination of the Paris economic agreement [signed in 1994] and a liberation of the Palestinian economy from dependence [on Israel].
3. Highest priority will be given to advancing the national economy. [Governmental] protection will be given to the economic sectors [dealing with] manufacturing and services, and national [i.e., Palestinian] exports will be encouraged while the national product will be supported in every way possible. Economic and commercial ties will be developed with the Arab-Muslim world, the EU and other countries.
4. The consumer will be protected, the private sector will be encouraged, an appropriate environment will be created for its operation, a firm working relationship will be created between the government and institutions in the private sector, and monopolies will be eliminated. The just managing and division of existing resources will be determined. The government will provide an appropriate environment and atmosphere of protection and stability for venture capital.
5. The government will encourage economic growth in a way appropriate to its values and tradition, and [through] realizing social justice. That will be done to protect the private sector, encourage investment, fight poverty and unemployment, strengthen productive economic sectors, rehabilitate the infrastructure, develop industrial areas and the branches of housing and technology.
6. Investment laws will be reexamined and an end will be put to monopolistic activities between the executive authority and the private sector.
7. The agricultural sector will be supported, and the budget allotted for its development will be increased.
8. The salary payment system of public employees will be regularized by adhering to [salary] tables, as will the salaries of those who have not yet been paid in both the public and private sectors.
9. Concern will be given to workers, agricultural workers and fishermen, and their suffering will be alleviated through support and [the initiation of] special projects.
Seventh -- Reforms
1. The government will adopt a venture of administrative and fiscal reform and will cooperate with the Legislative Council to determine laws which will reinforce reform and fight corruption.
2. [The government is committed to] developing organizational structures and work systems for governmental institutions to ensure that they work effectively and that their actions are correct and lawful.
3. A plan will be devised for wisely funding all aspects of the government.
4. [The government will] fight corruption and institute moral values of transparency, prevent the exploitation of public funds and form a collective Palestinian strategy for developing the administration.
Eighth -- Strengthening the Palestinian value system
1. The government is committed to a foundation of national unity, to preserving the welfare of its citizens, instilling values of mutual respect, adopting the language of dialogue, ending all forms of tension and anger and creating a culture of tolerance, preservation of Palestinian [life] and prohibiting internal fighting.
2. The government stresses the unity of the Palestinian people, both at home and abroad.
3. The government will act to establish and deepen national reconciliation and internal stability, and will use suitable tools to deal with the results of the unfortunate incidents [i.e., violent clashed between Hamas and Fatah (and the security forces)]. The government is committed to [honoring] the principles of legal sovereignty and defending civilians and public and private property, respecting all its commitments regarding such issues. I call upon our brothers, the members of the families [harmed by] the unfortunate incidents [i.e., violent clashes] to be patient and act with deliberation. I assure you that we stand with them [and identify with] their injured and their pain.
4. The government commits itself to perpetuating the principle of citizenship through equal rights and duties, equal opportunity and the establishment of social justice, especially in the realm of ministerial appointments and in the various institutions, with no discrimination against the general rights of all members of the country, and abolishing all forms of favoritism in hiring workers in the civilian and security fields.
5. The government emphasizes that it defends the principle of political pluralism, supports the development of an election campaign, of defending civil liberties, the establishment of democratic values, of defending human rights, the establishment of the principle of justice and equality, of protecting freedom of the press, freedom of thought and freedom of expression, the right to express a different opinion and the rights of Palestinian women. [The government] commits itself to peaceful changes of government and to completing [municipal] elections of the local councils as soon as possible.
6. The government is committed to founding a political partnership and to encouraging all the [political] forces [at work] in the [Palestinian] arena to develop a serious dialogue to realize [that partnership].
7. [The government is committed] to supporting the families of the shaheeds and prisoners [in Israeli jails] and to extend aid to them, to preserve their noble, respectable [way of] life and to provide for their special needs.
8. The government is committed to enabling Palestinian citizens to live with respect and to providing them with what they need, [including] social needs, health care and [providing] high quality health [services], to dealing with poverty and unemployment by creating jobs, and to initiating ventures of growth and social insurance.
9. The government will act to develop the educational system and improve the situation of teachers, to encourage scientific research and preserve the neutrality of the educational system. In addition, the government will support the advance of academic studies through the national fund.
10. [The government is committed to] showing significant interest in Palestinian youth and Palestinian sports activities among its first priorities, to providing for their needs and to investing efforts to broaden the sports infrastructure. That includes building a sports village and continuing partnerships with external sources to establish the status of Palestine in Arab, regional and international sports events.
11. The government will supervise the implementation of a special law for individuals with special needs.
12. The government will protect the rights of women and provide them with the possibility of participating in politics and the decision-making process, and in contributing to the process of [national] building in every institution and every field.
13. The government will encourage and support civilian and social activity and [will support the institutions of] civilian society.
Nineth -- International relations
The government asserts its pride in its firm Arab and Islamic link and its appreciation of Arab-Islamic political, economic and media support. The government will strictly adhere to fulfilling its duties as a member of the Arab League and of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. We hope that the Arab summit meeting which will take place in Riyadh at the end of the month (March 2007) will made decisions relating to the end of the siege and will support and defend the Mecca Accord.
In addition, the government is proud of its varied international relations, which have been deepened by the international support of our people and their legitimate rights. The government will act to institute good, close relations with other countries, international institutions, among them the United Nations and the Security Council, and [various] regional and international organizations, to help our people achieve their liberty [and independence] and to contribute to strengthening peace and world stability.
The government confirms its commitment to the legacy of civilization based on reconciliation, coexistence, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for international law and international humanitarian law, which are all compatible with our values, our leaders and the our deeply-rooted tradition.
The European Union has extended much help to our Palestinian people, and supported their right to liberty and independence. In addition, it held serious positions [which were manifested] by its criticism of the policy of occupation, as did Russia, China and Japan [as part of] their foreign policy regarding the Palestinian problem.
Therefore, government is interested in having close relations with the EU, the Federation of Russia, the People's Republic of China, Japan, India and Latin American countries. We expect them to take effective steps to lift the siege and to exert pressure on the occupation to end the boycott, respect human rights as explicitly laid down in international documents, withdraw from our occupied lands and to stop the repeated acts of aggression against our people. In addition, the government will work to develop ties with the countries which are permanent members of the Security Council.
The government calls upon the American government to reexamine its position regarding the Palestinian problem and to respect the choice of the Palestinian people as manifested by the national unity government, and to stop using a double standard in its policy. However, the government expects there will be good relations between the Palestinian people and the American people.
1. Based on the platform as posted on the Hamas (Arabic) Website Palestine-info on March 17, 2007.
2. That no mention is made of permanent borders is not a matter of chance. Mahmoud al-Zahar, the outgoing Hamas foreign minister, explained at a meeting of the Palestinian Legislative Council that Hamas objected to the expression "permanent borders" because "it meant recognizing the State of Israel" (Palestinian TV, March 17).
3. That statement is more extreme than the prisoners' document, one of the documents upon which the new government's platform is based. Paragraph 3 of the prisoners' document states that "the Palestinian people have the right to resist and to adhere to the option of resistance by any means," however, later on it states that " resistance should be focused on the territories occupied in 1967 ... along with the continuation of a popular public resistance against the occupation in every form..." The matter of focusing on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 was deliberately omitted from the national unity government's platform and replaced by the Hamas strategy of the continuation of all forms of terrorism in pre-1967 Israel as well.
4. The issue of "the right to resist" was emphasized as well by Ismail Haniya in his speech of the Palestinian Legislative Council where he presented the national unity government, calling it "[the government] resisting the Israeli occupation." Following the vote of confidence Hamas posted an announcement on its Website calling upon the national unity government to "make every effort to adopt the option of resistance to the occupation and to provide the resistance with all the support [it needed] to cope with the unending Zionist aggression..." (Hamas Website, March 18).
5. In his speech before the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ismail Haniya stated that Hamas was not offering a complete ceasefire [hudna], not even if Israel withdrew to the 1967 borders. He said that "the lull in question is mentioned in the same breath as talk about maintaining the resistance," and in any case it depended on Israel 's meeting the Palestinian demands (Palestinian TV, March 17).
6. On March 18 Abu Mazen announced a presidential edict ordering the reestablishment of the national security council, and another edict appointing Muhammad Dahlan as his advisor for affairs of natio nal security. Dahlan will also serve as secretary of the national security council.
7. The document was posted on the Palestine-info Website on March 17, 2007.
This comes from the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S) and is archived at
Dr. Reuven Erlich (Colonel, Ret.) is director of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S) in Israel. He can be reached by email at email@example.com
It was submitted March 21, 2007.
This comes from the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center
at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S) and is archived at
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