‘Abbas’ Government Constitutes A Crime Against The Palestinian Political Order’

Young supporters of a Palestinian state at a rally in Trafalgar Square on June 9th
Young supporters of a Palestinian state at a rally in Trafalgar Square on June 9th

YAHYA Musa, a deputy from the Hamas movement, has said that the decree issued by President Abbas that stipulates the suspension of articles in the basic law comes within the framework of violating the law and is tantamount to a crime against the Palestinian political order and legal system.

In an exclusive statement Musa said that from the aspect of legal abidance, the president’s decrees are very much weaker than any law let alone a law like the basic law, which is the highest of all laws and the father of all laws.

The president has absolutely no authority to amend the basic laws except following the approval of two-thirds of the members of the Legislative Council.

Musa added: This ‘basic’ law cannot be amended except with the approval of two-thirds of the Legislative Council members.

Other laws, however, can be amended by the approval of the absolute majority. Therefore, the legal power of the president’s decree is much lower than any article in the law let alone the basic law.

Musa stressed that President Abbas is an essential part of the problem. He showed unprecedented weakness and vacillated in taking any decision in the framework of Palestinian interests.

He responds only to the dictates of the United States and of the corrupt clique that surrounds him.

Musa called on the president to liberate the people from these pressures and to safeguard the supreme national interests of the Palestinian people in order to bring about the unity of our Palestinian people.

He cannot take such a course that inflicts great harm to our unity and the interests of our people, Musa added.

Musa pointed out that as members of parliament, they will call for a consultation session in order to keep in touch with all the parliamentary frameworks inside and outside Palestine and with the friendly countries so as to put a stop to this madness and to this lawlessness against the law that followed the security lawlessness in the West Bank.

Musa said that at the end of the day, Abbas will come to the dialogue table and to the concord table.

Musa pointed out that the emergency government is illegal and will result in a vacuum in the executive authority.

Therefore, these measures that the president is taking is embroiling him in one quandary after another and in one mistake after another.

The man should come back to his senses. He should abide by the oath that he took to safeguard national unity and the law, Musa said.

However at 1000 gmt, last Sunday, the swearing-in ceremony of the new Palestinian emergency government at the Al-Muqata’ah presidential compound in Ramallah took place.

The ceremony was conducted by Presidency Secretary-General Al-Tayyib Abd-al-Rahim in the presence of President Mahmud Abbas.

At 1001 gmt, Abd-al-Rahim begins to read the names of the new ministers:

Dr Salam Khalid Fayyad – Prime minister, foreign affairs, finance

Abd-al-Razzaq Mahmud al-Yahya – Interior

Ziyad Abdallah al-Bandak – Local government and agriculture

Khulud Khalil Du’aybas – Tourism and women’s affairs

Muhammad Kamal Ibrahim Hassunah – National economy, public works, communication and information technology

Lamis Mustafah Muhammad al-Alami – Education, higher education, culture

Dr Samir Abdallah – Planning and labour minister; Abd-al-Rahim notes that Abdallah could not attend the ceremony and that he will be sworn in later on.

Dr Fathi Abdallah Abu-Mughli – Health minister

Dr Riyad Najib al-Maliki – Media and justice minister

Jamal Muhammad Ahmad Bawatinah – Awqaf and social affairs

Mashur Muhammad Abu-Daqqah – Transport and Transportation

Ashraf Id al-Ajrami – Prisoners, ex-prisoners, youth, and sports

At 1010 gmt, Abd-al-Rahim concluded the ceremony by saying that additional ministers will be announced at a later stage.

At 1013 gmt, the television relayed a four-minute address by newly appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Fayyad said: ‘I have accepted the appointment by His Excellency President Mahmud Abbas to form the new government under these difficult and decisive circumstances in the history of our Palestinian people. I thank him for granting me his confidence. . .

‘Ensuring citizens’ safety is a priority for the government based on the rule of law; ending the security lawlessness; preserving citizens’ rights, freedoms, security, and property; and consolidating the role of legitimate security institutions.

‘The government will make every possible effort to put an end to the disorder and confusion caused by the repercussions of the shameful events in the Gaza Strip that have caused a state paralysis, which we hope will be a temporary one, in the function of official, legitimate institutions in that beloved part of our homeland.

‘We promise to carry out urgent programmes as part of a plan to fulfil citizens’ basic needs and face the deteriorating economic condition as a result of the siege and roadblocks in order to deliver our people from their current state of poverty and destitution. We will carry out this plan within an institutional framework marked by fairness, transparency, and good governance.

‘I now wish to address our people in the Gaza Strip and say: You are in our hearts and at the core of our priorities and programmes. The shameful, dark scenes, which are foreign to our people’s traditions, their revolution, and their struggle, will fail to prevail over the pure spirit of Gaza and its sons. Gaza is the bastion of revolution, steadfastness, sacrifice, and national unity.

‘Brothers and sisters, the time for work is now. It is time to roll our sleeves up and save our country, our land, and our national programme; so let us stand shoulder to shoulder and work together for the sake of Palestine.’

The ‘new Palestinian emergency government’ was denounced by Hamas as being ‘illegitimate’, a spokesman of the Islamist movement Hamas said.

‘This government is illegitimate. The only legitimacy it can boast of is recognition by the American Administration and by the Israeli occupation,’ Sami Abu-Zuhri said.

President Mahmud Abbas stressed on 17 June, speaking at the first meeting of the cabinet, Abbas said: ‘Hamas has risen up against all measures, values, and the basic law, which should remain in effect and be respected and adhered to by all.’

The president said that the coup against the authority and the rule of law compelled him to form the new government after declaring a state of emergency, stressing that this government would shoulder all its responsibilities, not only in the West Bank but also in the remainder of the homeland including the Gaza Strip, which is bleeding and suffering a catastrophe.

President Abbas said that he would move forward with the legitimacy until achieving Palestinian national independence, noting that the PNA seeks to forge special relations with all countries of the world.

The president added that this government seeks to lift the siege and offer economic and financial support to our people, stressing the need to implement security decisions and the laws decreed by his Excellency and the Palestinian Legislative Council, which stipulate the existence of a single authority, law, and weapon across the homeland.

He also stressed the need to work towards a political resolution for the Palestinian people’s cause, manifested in the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with holy Jerusalem as its capital and an agreed-upon, just resolution to the refugee issue.

Abbas then issued a presidential decree outlawing the Executive Force and Hamas militia for committing an act of armed insurrection against Palestinian legitimacy and its institutions.

The Palestinian prime minister and Hamas leader Ismail Haniya responded by reasserting his opposition to the formation of the emergency cabinet.

‘The Palestinian premiership deem the moves made by president Mahmud Abbas to form the so-called emergency cabinet as counter to the basic law,’ Haniya’s office said in a statement here.

The formation of the new government lacks all legal grounds,’ said Haniya.

He expressed his shock at Abbas’ abstention from referring the new cabinet to a parliamentary vote at the Palestinian Legislative Council (plc) which is ‘entitled to grant legitimacy to any government,’ the only legitimate government is the Hamas-led one as it resulted from internationally-recognised fair elections.

For his part, acting Speaker of the PLC Ahmad Bahr affirmed that ‘any government lacking the parliamentary approval can be deemed illegitimate.’

‘The presidential decree issued by Abbas on the formation of the emergency cabinet represents the gravest precedent in the history of the Palestinian National Authority,’ according to Bahr.

‘It could lead to the collapse of the constitutional order in Palestine as a whole, as it paves the way for totalitarianism,’ he warned.

Israel, the US and Egypt have welcomed Abbas’ decree forming a new government.