Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad address at the Government Media Center

Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning to all of you. It is indeed a pleasure for me to take part in the launching of the Human Development Report OPT for 2009/2010.  I extend my sincere appreciation to the authors of this report and all agencies and individuals who provided assistance and the information necessary to complete the report. It is important to applaud the diligent and methodical way in which you actually assessed the situation.   By utilizing surveys and other methods, you were able to go directly to the people on the subject matter of this report that fundamentally addresses their own security or more generally as, I choose to call it, the human condition.

I believe the report itself makes two important conceptual contributions.  One is by adopting a holistic definition of the term “Human Security” to refer to freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom to live in dignity. This is in a way allows one to reflect upon the human condition in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It allows one to examine security not only in its narrow definition, but more generally in terms of how people feel about themselves, about their situation, future prospects, and their state of mind. Clearly these factors have been and continue to be affected by the practices of the occupation regime that has been with us since 1967.  Hence, I believe one key contribution that the report makes is in the way it chooses to define security in an inclusive manner.

The second conceptual contribution regards the emphasis on the importance of human security as it relates to the possibility or prospects of attaining sustainable economic development. You clearly note that sustainable economic development is dependent on human security.  I think that this concept is particularly important. By linking the two together-sustainable economic development and human security- one is led to the conclusion that the attainment of sustainable economic development will remain an elusive goal in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as long occupation continues. The occupation regime permeates all aspects of our life and is manifested in many ways, not least is the impact of the fragmentation of the West Bank and the continued siege on Gaza. This siege has resulted in an unprecedented decrease in the level of well being.  If there was a “misery index” we would find that it is currently at its peak even when compared with other periods of time in the last four decades.  The siege has managed to negatively affect all facets of life in Gaza

The occupation regime has predominately overwhelmed efforts to improve the situation within the OPT.  The Palestinian Authority, with the support of the international community, has taken upon itself the responsibility of improving life conditions for Palestinians. However, despite all good intentions, abilities and initiatives undertaken by all of us, our outcomes are limited and undermined by the occupation regime practices. The conclusion noted in your report coincides   very much with our own assessment that sustainable economic development can happen only if human security is attained.   But, this is a two way street, also. Human security and the quality of human security is critically dependent on sustainable economic development.  The causality here runs both ways. Sustainable economic development can’t be achieved under occupation. We have seen in the past three years a slight recovery from time to time; but let’s not forget this comes after years of weak economic performance characterized by periods of outright recession. So we still have a long way to go before we can reverse the ill facts of so any years of poor economic performance.  These are of course important challenges that do require us to sharpen the focus of our interventions with the support of the international community in order to continue doing the best we can to improve the economic conditions in Palestine. Also, by doing so, the report focuses attention on the need to have strong and concrete actions on the part of the international community to bring an end to the underlying cause of all of this misery-occupation.

Over the past three years, the quality of the human condition in Palestine has also been adversely affected by the current state of separation, which regrettably has become more deeply re-entrenched since mid 2007. A key goal for us is to reunite the country and the institutions of the Palestinian people. This is a prerequisite for the success of the efforts  which we have embarked upon which is aimed chiefly at ending the occupation and establishing the independent sovereign state of Palestine on the territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Our road to freedom has never been easy; complications continue to certainly face our efforts to end occupation. However, we are not short on determination or hope. As a matter of fact, we are encouraged by recent achievements over the past couple of years and are aware of the difficulties that still remain ahead of us. We are hopeful that in these efforts we can go forward in preparing ourselves for statehood by around mid-2011.  We most certainly count of the continuous support and active involvement of the international community in support of these efforts not only economically and financially, but most importantly politically.

With each passing day, we become more aware that the notion of Israel ending occupation is not likely to happen.  The validity of this proposition in light of the reality on the ground becomes more and more questionable. Actually what we see is exactly the opposite.  The occupation regime is working to become more deeply entrenched. This is a fact that the international community should address as we move forward.  In this period, I believe it is a must that the world community takes on a much more active role in ending the occupation. The international community is unanimous on the goal…end occupation and establish a Palestinian state, but is less clear on how to get there. That is really the point that requires more focus and attention. The report does document the deterioration of human condition in the Occupied Palestinian Territory certainly when compared with the baseline of the first Palestinian Human Development Report in 1997.  This is hardly surprising given the reality of events that have taken place since that time which have also contributed to the deterioration of conditions and what came with that by way of plummeting living standards both in the West Bank and Gaza. Nevertheless, I think we really should redouble our efforts aimed at continuing to bring about improvements in ways that can reinforce the capacity of our people to withstand the adversity associated with occupation and end it.

Once again, I would like to thank UNDP and the report authors for sponsoring such an activity and report highlighting human security issues within the OPT. I believe we must deal with the underlying root cause of the misery facing Palestinians (occupation.) It’s an opportunity for me to thank the UNDP more generally for its contributions to the welfare of  our people which goes back to 1978 with the UN General Assembly resolution to establish a program of assistance to the Palestinian people.  Your office was then established in East Jerusalem where it continues to be located.  We certainly would like to have all of our international interlocutors located in the capital of the future state of Palestine.

I thank the UNDP for their contributions to our efforts in the state building sphere, provision of technical assistance, and in implementing important infrastructural projects. The role of the UNDP acquires added important now given the situation in Gaza.  We are hopeful that this will be considered  a matter of higher urgency and more efforts placed on lifting the siege to allow for reconstruction. We look to the UNDP for continued involvement in ways that could ameliorate the difficulties that our people in Gaza continue to face. I would also like to thank the UN family including all its institutions and programs beginning with UNRWA and it services to our refugees.  Also, our thanks go to OCHA for its continuous efforts in monitoring and documenting living conditions and reporting on the situation within Palestine.  We extend our appreciation to the UN family of agencies which continue to provide assistance in health, food aid programs, and in other areas. In addition, we are thankful for the support of the international community, in general, for having been with us along the way. It is a very difficult path to freedom, but we are fully determined to travel to the end.

Thank you very much

Answer to question: What we are looking for is an end to Israeli military incursions into Area A.  Palestinians should have a formal and permanent security presence in all Palestinians population centers.  These are not simply confidence building measures as much as an indication or manifestation of the concept of a state in the making as we would like to view this enterprise to be. This is how this situation should be looked at if we are to have a credible political process.

Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad address at the Government Media Center

Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning to all of you. It is indeed a pleasure for me to take part in the launching of the Human Development Report OPT for 2009/2010.  I extend my sincere appreciation to the authors of this report and all agencies and individuals who provided assistance and the information necessary to complete the report. It is important to applaud the diligent and methodical way in which you actually assessed the situation.   By utilizing surveys and other methods, you were able to go directly to the people on the subject matter of this report that fundamentally addresses their own security or more generally as, I choose to call it, the human condition.

I believe the report itself makes two important conceptual contributions.  One is by adopting a holistic definition of the term “Human Security” to refer to freedom from fear, freedom from want and freedom to live in dignity. This is in a way allows one to reflect upon the human condition in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It allows one to examine security not only in its narrow definition, but more generally in terms of how people feel about themselves, about their situation, future prospects, and their state of mind. Clearly these factors have been and continue to be affected by the practices of the occupation regime that has been with us since 1967.  Hence, I believe one key contribution that the report makes is in the way it chooses to define security in an inclusive manner.

The second conceptual contribution regards the emphasis on the importance of human security as it relates to the possibility or prospects of attaining sustainable economic development. You clearly note that sustainable economic development is dependent on human security.  I think that this concept is particularly important. By linking the two together-sustainable economic development and human security- one is led to the conclusion that the attainment of sustainable economic development will remain an elusive goal in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as long occupation continues. The occupation regime permeates all aspects of our life and is manifested in many ways, not least is the impact of the fragmentation of the West Bank and the continued siege on Gaza. This siege has resulted in an unprecedented decrease in the level of well being.  If there was a “misery index” we would find that it is currently at its peak even when compared with other periods of time in the last four decades.  The siege has managed to negatively affect all facets of life in Gaza

The occupation regime has predominately overwhelmed efforts to improve the situation within the OPT.  The Palestinian Authority, with the support of the international community, has taken upon itself the responsibility of improving life conditions for Palestinians. However, despite all good intentions, abilities and initiatives undertaken by all of us, our outcomes are limited and undermined by the occupation regime practices. The conclusion noted in your report coincides   very much with our own assessment that sustainable economic development can happen only if human security is attained.   But, this is a two way street, also. Human security and the quality of human security is critically dependent on sustainable economic development.  The causality here runs both ways. Sustainable economic development can’t be achieved under occupation. We have seen in the past three years a slight recovery from time to time; but let’s not forget this comes after years of weak economic performance characterized by periods of outright recession. So we still have a long way to go before we can reverse the ill facts of so any years of poor economic performance.  These are of course important challenges that do require us to sharpen the focus of our interventions with the support of the international community in order to continue doing the best we can to improve the economic conditions in Palestine. Also, by doing so, the report focuses attention on the need to have strong and concrete actions on the part of the international community to bring an end to the underlying cause of all of this misery-occupation.

Over the past three years, the quality of the human condition in Palestine has also been adversely affected by the current state of separation, which regrettably has become more deeply re-entrenched since mid 2007. A key goal for us is to reunite the country and the institutions of the Palestinian people. This is a prerequisite for the success of the efforts  which we have embarked upon which is aimed chiefly at ending the occupation and establishing the independent sovereign state of Palestine on the territories occupied in 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Our road to freedom has never been easy; complications continue to certainly face our efforts to end occupation. However, we are not short on determination or hope. As a matter of fact, we are encouraged by recent achievements over the past couple of years and are aware of the difficulties that still remain ahead of us. We are hopeful that in these efforts we can go forward in preparing ourselves for statehood by around mid-2011.  We most certainly count of the continuous support and active involvement of the international community in support of these efforts not only economically and financially, but most importantly politically.

With each passing day, we become more aware that the notion of Israel ending occupation is not likely to happen.  The validity of this proposition in light of the reality on the ground becomes more and more questionable. Actually what we see is exactly the opposite.  The occupation regime is working to become more deeply entrenched. This is a fact that the international community should address as we move forward.  In this period, I believe it is a must that the world community takes on a much more active role in ending the occupation. The international community is unanimous on the goal…end occupation and establish a Palestinian state, but is less clear on how to get there. That is really the point that requires more focus and attention. The report does document the deterioration of human condition in the Occupied Palestinian Territory certainly when compared with the baseline of the first Palestinian Human Development Report in 1997.  This is hardly surprising given the reality of events that have taken place since that time which have also contributed to the deterioration of conditions and what came with that by way of plummeting living standards both in the West Bank and Gaza. Nevertheless, I think we really should redouble our efforts aimed at continuing to bring about improvements in ways that can reinforce the capacity of our people to withstand the adversity associated with occupation and end it.

Once again, I would like to thank UNDP and the report authors for sponsoring such an activity and report highlighting human security issues within the OPT. I believe we must deal with the underlying root cause of the misery facing Palestinians (occupation.) It’s an opportunity for me to thank the UNDP more generally for its contributions to the welfare of  our people which goes back to 1978 with the UN General Assembly resolution to establish a program of assistance to the Palestinian people.  Your office was then established in East Jerusalem where it continues to be located.  We certainly would like to have all of our international interlocutors located in the capital of the future state of Palestine.

I thank the UNDP for their contributions to our efforts in the state building sphere, provision of technical assistance, and in implementing important infrastructural projects. The role of the UNDP acquires added important now given the situation in Gaza.  We are hopeful that this will be considered  a matter of higher urgency and more efforts placed on lifting the siege to allow for reconstruction. We look to the UNDP for continued involvement in ways that could ameliorate the difficulties that our people in Gaza continue to face. I would also like to thank the UN family including all its institutions and programs beginning with UNRWA and it services to our refugees.  Also, our thanks go to OCHA for its continuous efforts in monitoring and documenting living conditions and reporting on the situation within Palestine.  We extend our appreciation to the UN family of agencies which continue to provide assistance in health, food aid programs, and in other areas. In addition, we are thankful for the support of the international community, in general, for having been with us along the way. It is a very difficult path to freedom, but we are fully determined to travel to the end.

Thank you very much

Answer to question: What we are looking for is an end to Israeli military incursions into Area A.  Palestinians should have a formal and permanent security presence in all Palestinians population centers.  These are not simply confidence building measures as much as an indication or manifestation of the concept of a state in the making as we would like to view this enterprise to be. This is how this situation should be looked at if we are to have a credible political process.

Posted by: salamfayyad | April 6, 2010

PRESS STATEMENT

PRESS STATEMENT

 

Palestinian Authority Cabinet Meeting, 5 April 2010 

 HEADLINES  

  • The Cabinet hopes Palestinian Christians will celebrate next Easter in East Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian State

  

  • The Cabinet: Peaceful resistance and state institutions pave the way for ending the occupation, freedom, independence and the return of refugees

  

  • The Cabinet condemns Israeli assaults against our people and preventing access to holy sites

  

  • The Cabinet calls for the release of juvenile prisoners as April 17th  marks the International Day in Solidarity with Prisoners

DETAILS 

In its weekly meeting in Ramallah, chaired by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Cabinet sent its warmest wishes to all Christians on the occasion of the Easter holidays, adding that it hopes our people will celebrate next Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in East Jerusalem, the capital of the independent Palestinian State. It also confirmed our people’s movement forward in steady and vigorous steps to achieve its goals of freedom, independence and the return of refugees, noting that our people’s pursuit to rid itself from the injustice of occupation through peaceful resistance, state institution building, and creating facts on the ground, reflects a determination to achieve values of justice, freedom and national pride and paves the way for an independent Palestinian State on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

Political Situation  

The Cabinet condemned Israeli policies preventing Palestinian Christians access to East Jerusalem to celebrate Easter and its preventing of Muslim worshipers from entering the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, while at the same time providing protection to extremist Jewish settlers entering the El-Haram El-Sharif and allowing thousands of settlers to engage in provocative celebrations in Hebron 

The Cabinet also condemned Israeli threats to escalate attacks on the Gaza Strip, continued Israeli settlers’ crimes against unarmed Palestinians, and the takeover of a water spring in Deir El Hatab in the Nablus district as well as a residential block on the outskirts of Birzeit for the benefit of a new settlement. 

  

Health & Education Sector  

  

The Cabinet discussed the implications of syndicate strikes in the education and health sectors. While highly valuing the efforts of all workers in these two vital sectors, as in other sectors, it expressed its deep concern about the negative impacts those strikes have on vital interests of various social segments that could cause serious harm to the national interest. It stressed that the right to strike has been guaranteed by law and respected by the Government. However, it should only be a final resort, after the failure of all dialogue and legal procedures, especially as the Cabinet has shown high-level responsibility in dealing with several demands by employees in those sectors. Over the previous period, the Cabinet has taken several measures and steps to improve employees’ living and working situations as much as possible given the availability of financial resources, while simultaneously attempting to limit dependency on external aid. 

For example, the Government has raised employee salaries by 4% since the beginning of this year, coming after a similar raise last year. In addition, work has begun on reimbursing employees for allowances that were deducted earlier. In addition, the Government has increased transportation allowances by 10%, and removed the restrictions imposed on allowances for directors, which was previously based on the number of staff supervised. The Government also raised the Jerusalem living allowance by 200% for those employees who work in the education sector in Jerusalem. The remainder of the workers in Jerusalem received a raise in allowance of 100%. Work has also begun on implementing decisions of employment and promotion, retroactively paying salaries from the dates of issuance. Finally, the allocated funds to support universities in the Budget have also been increased from $32 million in 2009 to $40 million this year, a 25% increase. 

The Cabinet viewed with concern the negative impact of the strike on the public interest and hoped for an end to these strikes and commitment to dialogue with the Government on these issues. The Cabinet delegated the Labor Minister, as well as a committee formed by the Cabinet that includes the Ministries of Education, Health and Finance, and the Cabinet Secretariat, to proceed with the efforts of dialogue with the syndicates. It also stressed its commitment to continue its effort to improve the working conditions of civil servants in all sectors, in accordance with the available financial resources, and work on reforming the Civil Service Law as soon as possible. 

Presidential Decree on Personal Freedom and Privacy 

The Cabinet welcomed the President’s decree prohibiting violation of personal freedoms and privacy. The Cabinet considers this decree to preserve personal freedoms and individual privacy as a necessary basis for enhancing human rights and citizenship in the process of state-building. 

Financial Situation  

The Cabinet expressed its gratitude to the Russian Federation Government for the study grants it offered to Palestinian students. The Cabinet also thanked the governments of Algeria, Great Britain, Switzerland and Greece for their financial assistance which will help the Government to implement its plan for ending the occupation and building the state. 

Palestinian Children’s Day 

On the occasion of the ‘Palestinian Children’s Day’, the Cabinet stressed its joint efforts with the President to ratify the law on children’s support and protection. It also called on the international community to intervene for the release of the 300 Palestinian child prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.  The Cabinet also condemned the Israeli practices and policies that create a state of horror and trauma amongst Palestinian children. It called on Israel to stop its violations of Palestinian children’s rights and to put into practice the recommendations of the International Committee on Children’s Rights. 

Palestinian Prisoners Day  

Marking ‘Palestinian Prisoners Day’ on April 17th, the Cabinet reiterated its committed efforts to release all prisoners and to promote their just cause in international arenas. It stressed its commitment to prisoners and their families, adding its appreciation for their sacrifices and services to the homeland. 

Cabinet Decisions 

  • The Cabinet has decided to refer the Palestinian draft regulation of the naming and numbering of streets, buildings and Palestinian housing complexes to the members of the Cabinet for further study.
  • The Cabinet has decided to refer the draft regulation of Street Vendor to the members of the cabinet as a prelude for further study and approval.
  • The Cabinet has decided to refer the draft Consumer Protection regulation to the members of the Cabinet as a prelude to taking a decision.
  • The Cabinet has agreed to add the Water Authority to the technical committee studying ‘connecting roads’ projects, in order to ensure coordination between investment plans and the programs of  the Water Authority to serve the populated areas.

  

END 

  

Presidential Decree on Personal Freedom and Privacy 

The Cabinet welcomed the President’s decree prohibiting violation of personal freedoms and privacy. The Cabinet considers this decree to preserve personal freedoms and individual privacy as a necessary basis for enhancing human rights and citizenship in the process of state-building. 

  

Financial Situation  

The Cabinet expressed its gratitude to the Russian Federation Government for the study grants it offered to Palestinian students. The Cabinet also thanked the governments of Algeria, Great Britain, Switzerland and Greece for their financial assistance which will help the Government to implement its plan for ending the occupation and building the state.  

  

Palestinian Children’s Day 

On the occasion of the ‘Palestinian Children’s Day’, the Cabinet stressed its joint efforts with the President to ratify the law on children’s support and protection. It also called on the international community to intervene for the release of the 300 Palestinian child prisoners being held in Israeli prisons.  The Cabinet also condemned the Israeli practices and policies that create a state of horror and trauma amongst Palestinian children. It called on Israel to stop its violations of Palestinian children’s rights and to put into practice the recommendations of the International Committee on Children’s Rights.  

  

Palestinian Prisoners Day  

Marking ‘Palestinian Prisoners Day’ on April 17th, the Cabinet reiterated its committed efforts to release all prisoners and to promote their just cause in international arenas. It stressed its commitment to prisoners and their families, adding its appreciation for their sacrifices and services to the homeland.  

Cabinet Decisions 

  • The Cabinet has decided to refer the Palestinian draft regulation of the naming and numbering of streets, buildings and Palestinian housing complexes to the members of the Cabinet for further study.
  • The Cabinet has decided to refer the draft regulation of Street Vendor to the members of the cabinet as a prelude for further study and approval.
  • The Cabinet has decided to refer the draft Consumer Protection regulation to the members of the Cabinet as a prelude to taking a decision.
  • The Cabinet has agreed to add the Water Authority to the technical committee studying ‘connecting roads’ projects, in order to ensure coordination between investment plans and the programs of  the Water Authority to serve the populated areas.

  

END 

Follow up Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s weekly talk on the local radios networks, Ma’an network, and Palestine voice (Sawt Felastene) every Wednesday at 8:15 am, and at 12:00 PM. It will be broadcasted again on Fridays.

The talks will address the resent political and economical updates, along with topics that are of the citizens concern. The talk will also address the plan that was adopted by the government and the steps taken to build the institutions and the infrastructure. Also a through explanation will be given on the projects that were done by the government in the different areas of the west Bank.

Another important issue that will be addressed with regards to the Palestinian Authority’s policy towards areas that face high destruction by the occupation, by the separation wall and by the settlers, and “C” areas.

 

The talk will be broadcasted on the following local radio channels:

Al Huriya Radio- Hebron, Bethlehem 2000 Radio- Bethlehem, Areeha FM- Jericho, Raya Radio- Ramallah, Farah Radio- Jenin, Tareek AL Mahaba Radio – Nablus, Al Ghad Radio- Salfeet, PNN radio on the internet

 

Ma’an Network: Mawal Radio- Bethlehem, Al Balad Radio- Jenin,  Kul al Nass Radio- Tulkarim, AL Kamar radio- Jericho, Al Khalil Radio- Hebron, Nagham Radio- Qalqilyah, Amwaj Radio- Ramallah

 

Note: you can send your suggestions and topics you would like the Prime Minister to address to the media Unit at the Prime minister’s office on the following email: Fayyad@pmo.pna.ps

 

 

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Posted by: salamfayyad | February 6, 2010

In Herzliya, I Founded Palestine

In Herzliya, I Founded Palestine

Ma’ariv (p. B2) by Ben Caspit — [The title refers to a journal entry by Theodor Herzl in 1897, “In Basel I founded the Jewish state”—INT] Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad came to Herzliya on Tuesday. Thinking that he would be participating in a panel discussion, he did not prepare a speech. Suddenly he found himself making the Palestinian “Herzliya speech.” Fayyad did not become confused. He is no sucker. In fluent if nearly unintelligible English (Fayyad has a heavy accent), he laid out his doctrine: a Palestinian state within two years. On all the territory. Including East Jerusalem. That is all. In Herzliya, several meters from where the large statue of the visionary of the Jewish state overlooks the coastal highway, Fayyad founded Palestine.

Several years ago, when he appeared in the skies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, no one took him seriously. But Fayyad, a gray, stubborn man, worked seriously, against all the chances and all the gangs, and succeeded. Today, he is seen as the most significant threat against the continuation of the current situation. His plan was presented and gathered momentum, the Americans see him as a kind of messiah, the Europeans pin their hope on him, and most important: the situation on the ground has changed dramatically. In two years, he hopes, the reforms will be completed and he will declare a state on the 1967 borders.

Because there is consensus throughout the world on the two-state solution, and also regarding the Green Line, Israel is liable to find itself facing a Security Council decision that adopts the Palestinian declaration, and without an American veto. What will we do then?

Between Two Leaders

The next day, the Israeli prime minister came to Herzliya. His speech was also good. After all, he knows how to give speeches (that very morning, in the Knesset, he gave a wonderful speech to Berlusconi). Bibi talked about education and about vision, and almost did not mention diplomatic trifles, except for the news that there may be, perhaps, a chance that within a month, or two, or maybe three, it may be possible, under certain conditions, to resume negotiations. And it may be that this actually refers to indirect negotiations with American mediation. Applause. Indeed, an historical accomplishment.

The main difference between Fayyad and Netanyahu, except for the fact that one has a state and the other still does not, is that Fayyad knows exactly what he wants. We see from the way Netanyahu handles things that he does not. All Bibi wants is to keep on surviving. To get to the weekend in peace, without some new scandal. He sells Shimon Peres one vision while marketing another to Benny, Bugi and Ruby. With the Americans he is here, and with the settlers he is there. He uproots with one hand and plants with the other. There is no goal, no management, no courage to do one thing or the other.

By definition, Netanyahu is the leader of the right wing. This definition holds until election day. The next morning, he is already a centrist. He glances leftward, feels his way, but is afraid. The feeling is that all that he wants is for nothing to happen. That he be left in peace. The thing is that quiet is detestable [a phrase from the anthem composed by Revisionist Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky]. Anyone who thinks that the vacuum will remain empty is mistaken. Salam Fayyad is the one who is proving that now. He came bravely to Herzliya despite the ridiculous internal criticism of the Palestinians who screamed that the conference was for the sake of Israel’s strength and security. Fayyad knows that this is an open academic symposium, and during it he made, in English, the same statements that he makes in Arabic in Ramallah and in Nablus. He speaks in only one language, Fayyad. With everyone, in every place. The exact opposite of Netanyahu.

The Coalition Is the Main Thing

Near the courageous one (Fayyad) and the fearful one (Netanyahu) stands another player—namely, the commentator. He serves as the defense minister of the State of Israel. He gives a speech here, speaks there, cautions and warns. Not to divide the land, Barak warns, is an existential threat. Not reaching a peace agreement with Syria, he warns, means all-out war. And afterwards, we will return to the negotiating table and talk about the same things, the same conditions, exactly.

The question is asked: for what purpose is Barak there? In any case, he is incapable of producing anything regarding the Palestinian question or even regarding the Syrian question, which is so critical. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said two days ago that the next war will reach all the cities of Israel. He is right. No more dull sounds of explosions from the edge of the Golan Heights. All of Israel will be barraged with heavy and precise rockets. After Muallem, President Assad spoke in his own voice, called Israel the bully of the region and warned of war. History teaches us that every time the leaders of the Arab countries have warned us of war, it broke out. Every time there was a stalemate, an explosion followed. So why wait for the explosion? The Netanyahu government is doing nothing, marking time.

Incidentally, this is in the best case. There is always good old Avigdor Lieberman, who will breathe life into the hissing embers and light a big fire, as he did yesterday with the follow-up about Assad: “If war breaks out, your family will fall from power,” Lieberman warned loudly. Wow. What a man. And if Assad’s family falls from power, Mr. Yvet, what will happen? Could it be that Syria will also become (after Iraq) an extremist Islamic state? Could it be that the Iranians will take it over? Might the Shiites penetrate even more deeply? Might it be that we will miss Assad, like we miss many things today that we invested infinite energy to get rid of? […]

European Union provides €158.5 million to the Palestinian Authority

to support its recurrent expenditures in 2010

The Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad, and the European Union Representative, Mr. Christian Berger, today signed a €158.5 million Financing Agreement, including a €0.5 million contribution from Austria, in support to the Palestinian Authority’s recurrent expenditures for 2010. These funds will be channelled to the Palestinian Authority’s payments of salaries and pensions and its social protection programme through PEGASE, the European mechanism for support to the Palestinians[1] (https://mail.google.com/mail/html/compose/static_files/blank_quirks.html#_ftn1).

The European Union’s financial support to the Palestinian Authority is designed both to help sustain the public services that the PA provides to the Palestinian people and to strengthen the institutions of the future Palestinian state. This first package of financing will enable the Palestinian Authority to sustain its operations by contributing to the payment of civil servants’ salaries and pensions, both in Gaza and the West Bank. It will provide support to the most vulnerable Palestinians through regular contributions to social allowances paid to vulnerable families through the Ministry of Social Affairs’ social protection programme. Most of the funds will be disbursed in the first half of the year.

This financing, which helps assure basic public services for Palestinian population, complements a package of €66 million of support for the UNRWA General Fund, to ensure the delivery of public services to Palestine refugees.

Next week the European Union and the Palestinian Authority will launch formal discussions on the details of the second financing package of €71 million which will invest in strengthening the institutions of the future Palestinian state in line with the Palestinian Prime Minister’s plan “Palestine: Moving Forward” announced last week and the two year state building plan announced in August 2009.

Dr. Fayyad said during the signing ceremony, “This agreement comes at a time where the Palestinian people are in need of all kind of continuous support in order to be able to build the state institutions and develop its sectors. Such agreements also help the Palestinian people to face the obstacles they live with and provide the possibilities to continue in the development process.” Dr Fayyad also thanked the European Union for its continuous support to the Palestinian people and its national authority toward ending the occupation and building the future Palestinian State.

The European Union Representative, Christian Berger commented “As in previous years, the European Union is providing generous support to the Palestinian Authority to strengthen its institutions and sustain the services provided to the Palestinian people. Our investments are designed to contribute to the goal – shared by the EU and the PA – of creating a Palestinian state which will exist side by side in peace with Israel. But the sustainable impact of these investments will be only guaranteed if there is progress toward that goal.”

The EU is the largest single donor to the Palestinian people. Since 2007 it has provided total assistance to the Palestinian people, including civil society organizations and refugees, averaging more than €500 million annually. European funds support major reform and development programmes in key ministries, to help prepare the Palestinian Authority for statehood in line with the plan proposed in August 2009 by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

For further information please contact:

Shadi Othman, Communication and Information Officer, European Commission, Tel. 02-541-5888 / shadi.othman

Prime Minister’s Office, Media Department, Dana Abdulhamid- 0598-929-727 or

Duna Kafri- 0597-914-126

Support to the PA Budget In

The Palestinian Authority and the Finnish Government sign an agreement in the amount of €2.5 million

 
Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signed today a financial agreement of an amount of €2,000,510 with the Finnish Government represented by Ms. Outi Saarikoski Deputy Representative to the Palestinian Authority. The signing ceremony took place at the Prime Minister’s office in Ramallah.

 The fund is to be provided through the European -Palestinian assistance mechanism; PEGASE is for the payment of salaries to the Palestinian Authority civilian workers and Pensioners.

 Prime Minister Salam Fayyad stressed on the significance of such financial agreements, and its importance in helping the Palestinian to overcome the obstacles they face and attain their needs. It also provides help in the development process.

 Prime Minister Salam Fayyad thanked the Finnish Government for their continuous support provided to the Palestinian people and their government, he also thanked them for their solidarity with the Palestinian right to end the occupation and attain freedom by building their state up to 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.   

 The Finland government financial support throughout the years 1994-2007 reached up to $45 million in which was directed to support the educational, the health and the infrastructures sectors, along with some humanitarian aid and budge support.  It is worth mentioning that the finish government commented in paying around $20 million as part of their support to the Palestinian Authority during the Paris donor conference.

PM Salam Fayyad signs two financial agreements with Japan assisting the PA for financial support and clean energy

 

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signed today two financial agreements, the sum of USD 23 million with the Japanese government represented by Mr. Naofumi Hashimoto, Representative of Japan to the PA.

 The Non- Project grant aid of USD 16.7 million is extended as a part of international supports to alleviate the PA financial difficulties. This grant will procure some products critically needed for daily economic activities.

 The environmental program grant aid of USD 6.7 million is extended to implement the project to introduce a solar photovoltaic power plant for the first time in the West Bank. It will be connected to the power grid of Jericho city to supply electricity to the city and in the future to the agro-industrial park to be established under the Japanese initiative of “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” as well.

 The two grants mentioned are clear indicators of Japan’s determined commitment to continue its support for the peace-making efforts led by President Mahmoud Abbas, and for state institutions building efforts led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

 Prime Minister Salam Fayyad thanked the Japanese government for their continuous help for the Palestinian People and their government, and showed his appreciation for the support the Japanese people has given to help the Palestinian people gain their rights by ending the occupation and building their own state up to 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

 It is worth mentioning that since 1993 the Government of Japan has extended its official development assistance exceeding USD one billion to the Palestinian people, including humanitarian assistance.

December 14, 2009

 U.S. Provides $75 million in Budget Support to Palestinian Authority

Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has signed a financial agreement of an amount of $75 million with the U.S. Government presented by Consul General Daniel Robestein and USAID Director Howard Sumka. The ceremony took place at the Prime Minister’s office in Ramallah.

 Prime Minister Salam Fayyad praised the U.S. governments financial help suggesting that this significant sum of money directly to the Palestinian budget will help in building the Palestinian state they are aiming for and according to the government plan “Palestine: Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State” that suggest building a better and a strong institutions and infrastructure.

 PM Fayyad thanked the American Government and their President Barrack Obama for the continues support to the Palestinian People, and the Palestinian government, and by pushing towards building a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.

 Consul General Robestein on the other hand commented that “The U.S. government is pleased to be able to support the Prime Minister and his government’s effort to ensure a future of economic and political security for the Palestinian people”

 It is worth mentioning that the U.S. Government had given the Palestinian Authority the sum of $ 200 million dollars as a support for the Palestinian Authority budget last July, which was used to build several projects in the educational and health sector, and some infrastructure projects along with economical, democratically, and governance sector.

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