‘RESISTANCE IS OUR PEOPLE’S LEGITIMATE RIGHT’ – decides Palestinian National Dialogue Conference


THE Palestinian National Dialogue Conference (NDC) held on the 25th and 26th of May to try to end the armed conflicts between Hamas and Fatah supporters in the wake of the Hamas general election victory issued the following statement at the conclusion of its deliberations.

‘1. The inviolability of Palestinian blood

The NDC stresses that the Palestinian people’s unity and the unity of their nationalist and Islamic forces and factions is the strong shield that has protected our cause throughout our contemporary history and has foiled the colonialist and settler enemy plots to steal our homeland and send our people away for ever as exiles and diasporas.

Thanks to our national awareness and our people’s cohesion and unity, our people’s pioneers and struggling vanguards were able to preserve and strengthen our national unity in all phases of our national struggle inside and outside the homeland. The NDC today reaffirms that diverse opinions and stands on the arena of national action spring from everyone’s eagerness to preserve our sacred national case. These differences of opinion among those who occupy the nationalist trenches cannot and must not be considered impossible to solve.

Contradictions are non-existent among our people and their struggling forces. Therefore, the NDC affirms that all opinions and controversial issues must be nationally resolved through democratic dialogue and in our people’s high nationalist spirit.

Using arms in disputes among the sons of our cause, who are in one trench and who face the same fate, is impermissible. Palestinian blood is invaluable and sacred and it is impermissible for us to shed a single drop of blood in the wrong place and not in fighting the usurping enemy, which is occupying our land and expelling our people.

The NDC categorically rejects the devious calls for infighting, which would benefit only our enemy, who is lying in wait for us to harm our people, homeland and future.

The NDC calls for issuing a charter of honour to be signed by all forces and factions to prevent infighting regardless of the causes, justifications and pretexts. At the same time, the NDC affirms that political differences among the components of the national ranks will be resolved in the interest of our people at the dialogue table – that is, by dialogue and not by arms and the shedding of Palestinian blood.

2. The political, economic and financial siege imposed on our people

The NDC reaffirms its categorical rejection of this unfair siege, which was imposed on our people by the USA and Israel three months ago and after the holding of the legislative elections. This siege represents collective punishment of our people, who are under daily attacks and occupation, and who are facing Israeli settlement activities and the racial wall of segregation. This siege will not serve the cause of peace, security or stability in the Middle East.

This serious situation requires Arab and international moves to stop this siege and resume international assistance and help to our people. The customs revenues that the Israeli government has been withholding for the third consecutive month should be restored.

While denouncing this unjust siege, the NDC calls on all our people’s forces and factions to carry out moves and unified nationalist activities in all governorates, in the south and in the north, to let the entire world hear our besieged people’s voice.

3. Olmert’s unilateral plan, settlements and the wall

The NDC, which represents all our steadfast and militant people’s forces, announces its categorical rejection of, and its resistance to, the Olmert plan to swallow up our land and dismember our homeland into isolated ghettoes and cantons that would serve Israeli security.

The NDC rejects all Israeli settlement attempts to swallow up holy Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley areas, and to annexe settlements to the Israeli entity, which would result in swallowing up 58 per cent of West Bank territory.

The NDC reaffirms that peace cannot be realised as long as settlements and the wall are on our Palestinian territory. There can be no peace or security under the shadow of the settlements and the wall. The NDC emphasises the impossibility of realising peace and security without comprehensive Israeli withdrawal from our Palestinian and Arab territories that were occupied during the 1967 aggression.

The conference calls on all Arab and international sides to confront Olmert’s settler and expansionist plan. It also calls for activating the ruling of The Hague’s International Court of Justice in which it declared the occupation, the settlement activity and the racial wall of segregation to be null and void, especially in holy Jerusalem.

The NDC reiterates our people’s adherence to their land, their right of self-determination, their right of return and their right to establish the independent Palestinian state with only Jerusalem as its capital. The NDC categorically rejects the Olmert plan and the proposed state with provisional borders.

4. Strengthening the supremacy of law and order, and ending lawlessness

The NDC emphasises that bolstering the authority of the law and the independence of the judiciary is at the top of the national tasks that we must shoulder.

There can be no authority in our homeland above the supremacy of the law, which we all have accepted to administer the society and the homeland. Therefore, the NDC stresses that the phenomenon of lawlessness constitutes a serious threat to the security of the homeland and the citizens and it must be firmly confronted. Here we must emphasise full adherence to the basic law that governs the work of the legislative, the executive and the judicial branches of power in the Palestinian National Authority. The NDC reiterates the need to strengthen the security services and back them with all means, whether in terms of men or arms, to be able to put an end to lawlessness, which constitutes a serious phenomenon that threatens the supremacy of law and public order and the safety of the homeland and citizens.

The NDC calls for reforming the judicial system, enforcing its role and implementing its regulations with full independence of the various bodies of the judicial authority.

5. Activating and developing the PLO

The conferees calls on Brother Abu Mazen, chairman of the PLO Executive Committee, to convene a meeting of the higher committee that sprang from the Cairo dialogue and which is composed of the chairman and members of the PLO Executive Committee, the speaker of the Palestine National Council, the secretaries-general of all Palestinian factions and independence Palestinian figures as soon as possible and before the end of June at the latest with the aim of activating and developing the PLO and entrenching its status as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

6. Resistance is our Palestinian people’s legitimate right

The NDC reaffirms that resisting occupation and settlement activity is a legitimate right of our people and it is enshrined in both divine and international laws. The NDC calls on all the forces of our people and our steadfast masses, which are facing the aggression, the settlement activities and the wall, to form national unity committees to defend the land and the people in every town and village.

7. The right of return is sacred right of Palestinian refugees

The NDC emphasises that the cause of the Palestinian refugees is an issue pertaining to our homeland, identity and future. Therefore, the NDC stresses its unbreakable adherence to international resolution No 194 pertaining to the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and country.

The NDC rejects all attempts at eliminating the right of return of the Palestinian refugees and the calls for keeping them as refugees in various parts of the world. The NDC emphasises that the refugees have a sacred right to their homeland, which is both a collective and individual right, and no force on earth can eliminate the right of our people and refugees to their land, homes and country.

8. The Prisoners Movement’s national accord document

The NDC highly values all initiatives and documents that were presented at the conference, especially the National Accord Document which was initiated by the leaders of the Prisoners Movement and which we consider to be an appropriate background for national dialogue. The NDC stresses that all organisations, forces and active bodies are working around the clock for the release of our detainees and prisoners. It calls on all human rights organisations to bolster our efforts in this direction.

9. The National Dialogue committee

At the conclusion of its deliberations, the NDC decided to establish the National Dialogue Committee under the chairmanship of brother President Abu Mazen. It will include, as members, representatives from the Palestine National Council, the PLC, the PLO, the government and all active national and Islamic factions as well as representatives of the parliamentary blocs, the private sector and civil society organisations. The committee will begin its work immediately under the president’s chairmanship to come out with a unified national action programme that will unify our ranks and entrench our national unity.’