Give youth the opportunity to lead the Palestinian struggle!

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Demonstration in London against the Israeli attack on Gaza. Abd Rabbuh said that in Britain public opinion has moved in favour of Palestine
Demonstration in London against the Israeli attack on Gaza. Abd Rabbuh said that in Britain public opinion has moved in favour of Palestine

PRESIDENT Abbas has said that the holding the seventh congress of Fatah will be at the end of this year.

He added ‘Get ready for the congress, which will most probably be at the end of the year, to revive Fatah and give opportunities to all youth to lead this movement. As you know, we believe in the succession of generations until we achieve independence.

‘At the same time, we say with regard to internal reconciliation that there are falsehoods concerning this subject. What are the points of the agreement that was concluded in Doha and Cairo and then in Al-Shati agreement?

‘There are two main points, which are the formation of a national consensus government and then holding presidential and legislative elections within six months.

‘As long as we have chosen democracy as a path, we have to commit to it and to the judgment of the people as we have to go back to the people to decide who will represent it. This is why we agreed on presidential and legislative elections.

‘Some parties are reluctant now. They want to postpone and ignore this matter. If we want genuine reconciliation, we should go back to the people to have their say, as happened in 2005 and 2006 and as happened in 1996 when martyred President Yasser Arafat ran in the elections although he had been head of Fatah since 1965 and head of the PLO since 1969 and head of the Palestinian (National) Authority since its establishment.

‘When we drafted the constitution, we told President Abu-Ammar (Yasser Arafat): You have to run in the elections in order to consolidate democracy.

‘Indeed, he ran against a noble woman and he won with a majority. Therefore, he consolidated this democratic approach, which we should follow and pursue till the very end.

‘We are determined to hold elections as soon as possible within six months. We will deduct from this deadline the period of the black Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip, which is 50 days.’

Meanwhile Yasser Abd-Rabbuh, secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, announced that the leadership decided to submit a draft resolution to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories to the Security Council before the end of this month.

Speaking at a news conference held at the PLO headquarters in Al-Birah, Abd-Rabbuh said that the PLO political committee decided during its meeting under President Mahmud Abbas, with full seriousness and in an unequivocal manner and without any going back, to go to the Security Council to have it issue a resolution to end the Israeli occupation of the 1967-occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, before the end of the month.

He added that the vote ‘could take place two weeks after the request is submitted or a little later, depending on the Security Council mechanism.’

He stressed that ‘there is no justification for postponement. This is the right moment for the Security Council to assume its responsibilities towards ending the Israeli occupation of the territories of our Palestinian state.’

Abd-Rabbuh expressed hope that ‘the US Administration would not use the veto against the draft resolution or put pressure on some countries to prevent us from getting nine votes that would enable us to propose the draft resolution to be discussed.’

He added: ‘It is shameful for any country to vote against the freedom of our people or against a resolution to end the occupation because the role of the Security Council is to achieve world security and stability.

‘We think that the establishment of our state and ending the occupation is the biggest role of the Security Council to achieve security and stability in our region.’

He added: ‘There is a vague US request that we wait for two or three weeks so that the US Administration would propose new ideas as an alternative to going to the Security Council.’

He added: ‘We will not accept any vague or equivocal ideas. Our demands are perfectly clear: Halting settlement activity, agreeing that the 1967 borders, without any exchange, are the borders of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, negotiating the demarcation of the borders on this basis, and negotiating over the rest of the final status issues within a year to two years to reach a comprehensive agreement with Israel.’

Abd-Rabbuh said that Israel wants a barter with the Palestinians ‘for political steps in Gaza and gains in the West Bank, including facilities and others, and reconstruction in return for continuing the occupation.’ He said: ‘We will accept nothing except ending the occupation.’

He said: ‘In the event of the US side using the veto or foiling our bid at the Security Council, this does not mean the end of the road.

‘We will not give up. We have a chance to go again in January. In this situation, the US Administration is asked to answer the question about the realistic alternative in light of the Israeli intransigence, settlement activity, and the imminent and real threat to the two-state solution.’

Abd-Rabbuh said: ‘We are not embarking on an adventure. The real adventure is to accept the status quo. So far, we have guaranteed seven votes at the Security Council. There is a change in the membership of the nonpermanent states. This is in our favour. Most probably, we will get the support of five other states once this change takes place.’

He confirmed that the Russian Federation and China support the bid at the Security Council. Their position is clear. As for Britain and France, their position will either be to abstain or support. It depends on the pressures put on them. There are positive developments in Britain that bode well in that there is greater pressure by public opinion in favour of the Palestine question.

‘This is thanks to the presence of the leftist leadership of the Labour Party.’

Abd-Rabbuh said that the results of the aggression against Gaza have affected the positions of some states in favour of the Palestinian cause. He added: ‘We know the limits of going to the Security Council. We are determined to take this step because if we do not take this bold step, we will lose credibility on the national and international levels.’

He said that there are US efforts to urge the Palestinian leadership not to go to the Security Council and other efforts to urge it to postpone this bid. He confirmed that the issue is over for the leadership and that going to the Security Council would happen soon.

He said that the US side is seeking to not be forced to use the veto. They are more concerned about this because of the question of DA”ISH (Arabic acronym for ISIL, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) and because it is aware of the status of the Palestine question for the Arabs and Muslims.

Answering a question on reports about the presence of new US ideas to advance the peace process, Abd-Rabbuh answered: ‘There is a request by them not to go to the Security Council. What is being talked about are vague ideas. So far, no one has informed us of the substance of these ideas. It is said that the US Administration needs two or three weeks to crystallize and present these ideas.’

He said: ‘For us, it is not possible to talk about any ideas or proposals to break the deadlock in the peace process. It is not possible to talk about any practical ideas unless they ensure the complete halt of settlement activity and stopping crimes against our people and against the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.

‘Therefore, there is a need for a clear US action based on an explicit and categorical request that Israel stop these serious violations that affect security and peace in the region directly.’

He added: ‘We stick to the need for Israel to be committed to withdrawal from the 1967-occupied territories and solving all the issues of the final solution within two or three years at the latest.’ He stressed that land swap cannot happen except based on a Palestinian-Israeli agreement and in line with the previously announced standards.

The Palestinian leadership is aware that land swap due to the fait accompli policy and settlement activity means the loss of the 1967 borders.

Abd-Rabbuh commented on the statements of Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon on his rejection of the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank land by saying: ‘These statements push us more to take the path of the Security Council and think about acceding to a number of international organisations. He added: ‘We will continue our political battle, and we will not be intimidated by the Israeli statements that we have got used to.

‘We will always develop the battle, while taking into consideration the importance of developing popular resistance.’

He stressed the importance of the emergence of the role of unions and civil society organisations in a larger and more prominent manner on the level of supporting the bid at the Security Council and the political track of the Palestinian leadership.

He added: ‘We have to let everybody feel that our society is ready to accept any sanctions that might be imposed on the National Authority because of going to the Security Council or international organisations.’

Abd-Rabbuh added: ‘The voices of professional unions, the Union of Civil Servants, and civil society organisations must be raised on the basis of readiness to bear any burdens or sanctions that might be imposed on our people. I believe that the US Administration will not allow things to go towards the abyss, whatever the nature of our political action.’

He spoke in detail about the importance of closing the chapter of Palestinian division seriously once and for all. He warned that not accomplishing this file would negatively affect the reconstruction of what the occupation had destroyed in Gaza and also the next political battle.

He stressed the importance of the meeting of the temporary leadership body to discuss some issues related to the Palestine question and to discuss the subject of going to the Security Council and possible repercussions of this bid and to overcome the difficulties facing Palestinian reconciliation.