PALESTINIAN PEACE COALITION
The Geneva Initiative
Making Peace Our Horizon

P.O. Box: 4252, Al Bireh/ Ramallah/ Tel: 972 2 2407721/ 2/ 3/ Fax: 972 2 240 7730

E-Mail: media@geneva-initiative.net/ Or: eliasz@netvision.net.il

Close to 150 Palestinian officials, ex-officials and public figures called in a one-page public statement advertisement for setting up a national salvation government to address the latest deterioration in the Palestinian lands and to introduce immediately all reforms ratified by the Palestinian Legislative Council. The signatories urged the Palestinian people to continue their resistance to the Israeli occupation but to exclude civilians on both sides from the cycle of violence. The demand was seen as directed to suicide bombings inside Israel, continued shelling of Qassam rockets into Israeli towns and continued Israeli army activities against Palestinian civilians.

Follows is the full translation of the public statement as published on Page 2 of Al Quds, the largest circulation daily in the Palestinian territories, on Saturday 14 August 2004:

P U B L I C ST A T E M E N T

The Palestinian land has been witnessing a devastating escalation in the Israeli aggression on our people, our institutions and our capabilities, especially during the latest events in Beit Hanoun, Rafah, Nablus and other areas. The Apartheid Separation Wall continues to be built and settlements continue to be enlarged with the blatant cover of the US Administration. Along with this deterioration, there has been an unprecedented state of loose security, violation of law, attempted political assassination, violent events, kidnappings and assaults on public properties.

Today, more than ever before, there is a need to confront this deteriorating crisis which has affected the Palestinian political system in all its components. Cosmetic, administrative and partial solutions are no guarantees that this crisis will not endanger the whole Palestinian national scheme.

Facing those challenges and the threats posing before us requires the restoration of our political initiative in confronting the Sharon plan that aims to prevent the creation of a fully sovereign Palestinian state. To face those challenges, we should also revive our Palestinian national program and introduce deep-rooted reforms into our political regime structure and into the decision making process. Add to this everything we need to rehabilitate the executive, judicial and legal authorities, enforce law and order, spread the basis of equality and justice, immediately cease all forms of corruption, anarchy and security chaos and prevent the phenomenon of taking law into one's hands.

Dangers of the US-backed Israeli plan threaten to destroy the basic foundations of our Palestinian people's unity and our territorial integrity. Therefore, there is a fundamental need to restructure our internal conditions and put our home in order in order to be able to confront this plan.

We, the undersigned, call for the unification of all forces, figures and institutions that are loyal to our national goal in order to fortify the steadfastness and to introduce reforms and change. We emphasize the following:

ONE: Our commitment to our national legitimate rights to return, self-determination and to set up our fully sovereign independent Palestinian state on all the land occupied in 1967 with Jerusalem our capital. We strongly adhere to the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of our people.

TWO: Support the right of our people to resist occupation, settlement and aggression while excluding civilians on both sides from the cycle of violence. We stress on the importance to revive the populace intifada and to enhance forms of public resistance.

THREE: Our condemnation of, and fight against, all forms of corruption and our support for genuine, serious and persistent work to uproot corruption, to expose those involved in it to accountability within the framework of law.

FOUR: Our condemnation of all forms of anarchy and security chaos, including assaults or takeover of public and private lands and properties, all kinds of armed demonstrative rallies, resorting to violence and the use of arms in settling internal accounts or differences.

FIVE: The immediate launching of comprehensive reforms into the PLO institutions and the institutions of the Palestinian National Authority and its security apparatuses, as well as all civil society organizations. This endeavor represents a fundamental national need to strengthen our internal powers and to augment our capabilities of steadfastness in the face of the Sharon plan and against outside pressure. It is also needed to improve the performance of the PNA and to enable it to provide the best services to the people mainly in the fields of employment, health, education and social welfare. To achieve all these calls, we demand the following:

1. Enable the government to shoulder its responsibilities and to carry out its duties with full powers as stated in Basic Law and call on the Palestinian leadership and all political forces to work together in order to reinforce political partnership and to form a national salvation government based on the widest coalition possible and to implement the reforms that were ratified by the Palestinian Legislative Council.

2. The supremacy of the rule of law and the independence and impartiality of the judicial system while following up all corruption files, subject those involved to accountability and punishing the convicts. Work should be accelerated to introduce the law of "illegal wealth" and the law that regulates works, structure, authorities and the terms of reference for all the Palestinian security apparatuses so that they would shoulder their responsibilities in protecting the safety of the people and of the homeland and in enforcing law and public order. This law should ban the security apparatuses from interfering in political, financial or economic fields or in the works of civil society organizations, except when deemed necessary under the law. The security apparatuses should be rehabilitated and their commanders be renewed.

3. Call on all political forces to shoulder their historical responsibilities and to start a serious and comprehensive dialogue based on the foundations and results reached in previous dialogue sessions in such a way that would crystallize a national program that reinforces partnership and centrality in the decision making process.

4. Serious preparation for public (presidential and legislative) and local elections based on a modern democratic law that adopts rules of mixed gender and guarantees posts for women. Call on the international community to assist the Palestinian people in organizing the elections through guaranteeing the withdrawal of Israel and preventing her from interfering, whether directly or indirectly, in the democratic process.

5. Call on the Palestinian Government to treat all forms of social congestions and to distribute with utmost justice and balance all resources in order to face the ramifications of occupation and aggression, through giving top priority to areas struck by aggression and by the Apartheid Separation Wall, and through finding the appropriate methods for achieving these goals by cooperating with civil society organizations and augmenting the rules of justice and equality.

SIX: Call for democratic dialogue to prevail and condemnation of all forms of breaching this rule and urge the people not to get drawn after attempts aimed at splitting national unity or imposing dangerous polarizations and to renounce all those who assail the rights of our society and endanger its very existence.

The signatories of this public statement hereby reiterate their insistence to follow up all the listed items above while inviting and welcoming the participation of all those interested, including public, national and political figures and forces. This is a Grand National duty for all of us.

Signatures:

1. Abdul Aziz Q'deih

2. Abdul Karim Ashour

3. Abdul Qader Husseini

4. Abdul Rahman Abu Arafeh

5. Abdul Rahman Awadallah

6. Abdullah Abu Al Ata

7. Abdullah Abu Samahdaneh

8. Adi Al Hindi

9. Ahmad Dahbour

10. Ahmad Daoud

11. Andalib Adwan

12. Dr. Anton Sh'heiber

13. Dr. Awad Hijazi

14. Aziz Abdul Jawad

15. Dr. Azmi Al Shu'aibi

16. Baker Abu Baker

17. Basel Jaber

18. Bassam Musleh

19. Bassam Salhi

20. Daoud Talhami

21. Dhiab Al Louh

22. Elias Zananiri

23. Dr. Faiha' Abdul Hadi

24. Dr. Fat'hi Waheidi

25. Dr. Fawaz Abu Sitta

26. Fuad Rizeq

27. Dr. Ghassan Al Khatib

28. Ghazi Lutfi

29. Dr. George Geacaman

30. Dr. Haidar Abdul Shafi

31. Haidar Awadallah

32. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

33. Hanan Taha

34. Hani Al Hayek

35. Hani Al Masri

36. Hani Habib

37. Hani Saba

38. Hanna Amireh

39. Hanna Siniora

40. Hassan Khader

41. Hatem Abdul Qader

42. Hiam Abu Ghazaleh

43. Hisham Abdul Razeq

44. Huda Elayyan

45. Ibrahim Dughmeh

46. Dr. Ibrahim Khreisheh

47. Ibtisam Salem

48. Dr. Ilham Abu Ghazaleh

49. Ismail Abu Shamala (Abu Nidal)

50. Dr. Issa Ja'anini

51. Issam Abdul Hadi

52. Issam Arouri

53. Issam Younis

54. Dr. Iyad Sarraj

55. Jaber Washah

56. Jamal Abu Nahel

57. Jamal Shobaki

58. Jamal Zaqout

59. Dr. Jamil Hilal

60. Jiries Qassis

61. Dr. Kamal Al Sharafi

62. Khaled Al Khatib

63. Khaled Jum'aa

64. Khaled Mansour

65. Lama Al Horani

66. Maha Abu Dayyeh

67. Maha Al Tamimi

68. Mahmoud Sh'qeir

69. Dr. Mamdouh Al Aker

70. Mamdoun Noufal

71. Mansour Abu Radwan

72. Marwan Jilani

73. Mazen Al Jarbawi

74. Dr. M'kheimer Abu Sa'ada

75. Mohammad Abu Sham'a

76. Mohammad Adel Al Masri

77. Mohammad Al Horani

78. Mohammad Al Masrouji

79. Mohammad Dahman

80. Muhannad Abdul Hamid

81. Mustafa Al Rantisi

82. Nabil Amr

83. Nabil Kutari

84. Nabil Qabalan

85. Dr. Nabil Qassis

86. Nabil Tarazi

87. Dr. Nader Said

88. Nadia Abu Nahleh

89. Na'ela Ayesh

90. Nafez Ghneim

91. Naim Nasser

92. Nassar Nassar

93. Nasser Al Shurafa

94. Nasser Aleiwah

95. Dr. Nasser Jab'r

96. Nawal Zaqout

97. Dr. Nazmi Al Ju'beh

98. Nibras Bseiso

99. Ni'meh Al Hilo

100. Omar Sha'ban

101. Qaddoura Fares

102. Qais Abdul Karim (Abu Laila)

103. Ra'ed Abu Al Sa'oud

104. Rafiq Abu Dhalfeh

105. Reem Abboushi

106. Rida Nattil

107. Dr. Riyad Za'anoun

108. Sa'ad Khurma

109. Sa'di Abu Abed

110. Sa'ed Abdul Hadi

111. Safi Safi

112. Saji Salameh

113. Sakher Bseiso

114. Salah Abdul Shafi

115. Dr. Salim Tamari

116. Sama'an Khouri

117. Samer Shihadeh

118. Dr. Sami Kilani

119. Sami Sa'idi

120. Dr. Samih Al Abed

121. Samih Khalil

122. Dr. Samir Abdallah

123. Samir Hleileh

124. Siham Al Barghouti

125. Subhiyeh Jum'a

126. Suheil Jad'oun

127. Talal Owkal

128. Tal'at Safadi

129. Dr. Taleb Awad

130. Tamer Issawi

131. Dr. Taysir Arouri

132. Taysir M'heisen

133. Terry Boullata

134. Tewfiq Abu Ghazaleh

135. Tewfiq Abu Khousa

136. Dr. Usama Farra

137. Wafa' Abdul Rahman

138. Walid Abu Baker

139. Walid Al Awad

140. Walid Atatrah

141. Dr. Walid Mustafa

142. Yasser Abed Rabbo

143. Yousef Abu Safiyyeh

144. Zahira Kamal

145. Dr. Zakaria Al Agha

146. Dr. Zaki Abdul Majid

147. Zeinab Al Ghanimi