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« on: June 21, 2006, 05:48:42 PM »

No peace unless refugees return to inside Israel and also compensated for years of expulsion
PA PM Haniya: No peace unless refugees return to inside Israel and also
compensated for years of expulsion

"Mr. Haniya further emphasized that the region can never enjoy security and
stability unless the occupation comes to an end, and our people obtain their
legitimate rights, particularly the right to establish their independent,
sovereign state, with Jerusalem as its capital, the right of refugees to
return homes and be compensated for the many years of expulsion and
dispersion, and the right of prisoners to be released from Israeli jails. "

PCHR
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights


Ref: 26/2006
Date: 21 June 2006

Palestinian Prime Minister Officially Opens the Conference on "The New
Palestinian Government and the Human Rights Agenda"

With the participation of at least 500 officials, representatives of
political factions, representatives of NGOs, academics, jurists, media
officials and representatives of a number of international organizations, on
Wednesday morning, 21 June 2006, the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mr. Ismail
Haniya, opened a conference on "The New Palestinian Government and the Human
Rights Agenda." The two-day conference is organized by PCHR in Gaza City.

The conference seeks to establish a framework for dialogue and exchange of
viewpoints between representatives of the government and those of civil
society organizations, including human rights organizations, on human rights
issues. The conference will consist of three major sections, each of which
will focus on a number of issues related to Palestinian human rights to be
discussed between civil society organizations and the government, hoping for
adoption of specific and clear governmental policies with regard to
outstanding issues, taking into consideration the demands of civil society
organizations, including human rights ones. The three sections will focus
on: civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and
the rights of women and groups.

In his opening speech, Prime Minister Haniya thanked PCHR and its director
of their persistent efforts to unveil Israeli violations of Palestinian
human rights. He also congratulated PCHR for being granted a number of
international awards in appreciation of its distinguished role in defending
Palestinian human rights.

Talking about human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mr. Haniya
added, is full of bitterness, pain and suffering, as our people have faced
for many years the horrible policies practiced by Israeli Occupation Forces
(IOF), referring to the childhood slaughter that took place on Tuesday in
Sheikh Radwan neighborhood in Gaza City, as an extension of a series of
indiscriminate killings committed by IOF against all segments of our people.

Mr. Haniya further emphasized that the region can never enjoy security and
stability unless the occupation comes to an end, and our people obtain their
legitimate rights, particularly the right to establish their independent,
sovereign state, with Jerusalem as its capital, the right of refugees to
return homes and be compensated for the many years of expulsion and
dispersion, and the right of prisoners to be released from Israeli jails.

Mr. Haniya also highly appreciated the role played by human rights
organizations and international solidarity movements in supporting our
people and their just cause, demanding international bodies, especially the
United Nations, to assume their role in conflict resolution and restoration
of the rights of persecuted peoples.

In addition, Mr. Haniya asserted that NGOs played a leading role in forming
the public opinion, steering the public consciousness, enhancing the
national affiliation, and establishing a civil society based on the values
of democracy, human rights and equality regardless of sex, ethnicity and
religion. He repented the setback of the concepts of the rule of law and
the independence of the judiciary in the past few years, which has led to
security chaos and dangerous phenomena that threat the social safety. Mr.
Haniya further said: "When we came to power, we had the ambition to bring
back our people's trust in their homeland and their feeling of safety and
security, and provide them with appropriate living conditions, through an
integral project of continuing the process of liberation, while completing
the process of construction."

Mr. Haniya also asserted that his government would continue to achieve its
platform, and construct the Palestinian society on the foundations of
democracy, the rule of law, respect for the judiciary, the separation of
powers, respect for human rights, equality, protection of public freedoms,
and protection of the freedom of expression.


Earlier, Mr. Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, started the proceedings of the
conference with a speech, in which he welcomed the Palestinian Prime
Minister and the attendants. He highly appreciated the quiet and peaceful
transition of authority following the death of the Palestinian President
Yasser Arafat, including holding presidential, local and legislative
elections. He pointed out that the Palestinian people's will achieved
victory on 25 January 2006 (the day of Palestinian legislative elections),
which might have been the only democratic and transparent elections in the
Arab World, as it was highly appreciated by local and international
observers since it was a true expression of the Palestine voters' will.

Mr. Sourani stated that the current Palestinian government, since it swore
the constitutional oath on 29 March 2006, has been fired at "in the
political conception" and has been targeted by the international community,
particularly the western democracies, which talk about the values of
democracy, human rights, and people's wills and elections as a means for
authority circulation.

Moreover, Mr. Sourani indicated that civil society organizations, including
human rights ones, criticized previous governments for concerns over many
issues, such as state security courts, corruption and arbitrary arrests.
Human rights organizations paid the price for such criticism. Mr. Sourani
added that we are now in a new era with a new government, and it is
necessary to hear from the government and explore its positions, as we will
gather next year to discuss the outcome of this year at the levels of
democracy and civil and political rights.

Mr. Sourani also reiterated the position of civil society organizations,
including human rights ones, rejecting the boycott and siege imposed on the
Palestinian government and people, which are inhuman, are not consistent
with internationally accepted standards and do not respect the people's
will. He further expressed concerns over the deteriorating internal
situation, calling upon all Palestinian national factions to gather to
protect the interests of our people and society and confront those who
threaten the people's security.

No peace unless refugees return to inside Israel
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