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The full text of the National Conciliation Document of the Palestinian Prisoners
(and Revision)

May 11, 2006 and June 28, 2006

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Introduction

This document was adopted by Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, including members of the Hamas and Fatah factions, in the spring of 2006, as a basis for conciliation between the rival factions. It was subsequently ratified by the Hamas and PLO/Fatah after revision. It was widely touted as granting implicit recognition to Israel, but Hamas leaders emphasized when signing it that their charter remains in force and that the document does not grant recognition to Israel.  The document is conciliatory between Palestinian factions. It is not a basis for peace that would be acceptable to Israel, and it doesn't seem to conform to key provisions of the quartet Middle East Peace Roadmap  Key provisions of the document include:

1- the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the Diaspora seek to liberate their land and to achieve their right in freedom, return and independence and to exercise their right in self determination, including the right to establish their independent state with al-Quds al-Shareef as its capital on all territories occupied in 1967 and to secure the right of return for the refugees and to liberate all prisoners and detainees based on the historical right of our people on the land of the fathers and grandfathers and based on the UN Charter and the international law and international legitimacy.

The right of return of refugees is unacceptable to Israel. The goal of a state in the lands occupied in 1967 does not necessarily imply the acceptance of the existence of Israel, or rule out claims to the entire territory between the River and the Sea. The following provision contradicts the Roadmap goal of cessation of violence:  

3- the right of the Palestinian people in resistance and clinging to the option of resistance with the various means and focusing the resistance in the occupied territories of 1967 alongside with the political action and negotiations and diplomatic action and continuation of popular and mass resistance against the occupation in its various forms and policies and making sure there is broad participation by all sectors and masses in the popular resistance.

The key provisions of the document from the Palestinian point of view are reestablishment of the Palestine liberation organization as the representative of the Palestinian people, an achievement threatened by Hamas opposition, and placing the negotiations in the hands of President Abbas:

2- to work quickly on achieving what has been agreed upon in Cairo in March 2005 pertaining to the development and activation of the PLO and the joining of Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movements to the PLO which is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people wherever they are located...

7- Administration of the negotiations is the jurisdiction of the PLO and the President of the PNA on the basis of clinging to the Palestinian national goals and to achieve these goals on condition that any final agreement must be presented to the new PNC for ratification or to hold a general referendum wherever it is possible.

In May of 2006, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called upon the Hamas government to accept the document within ten days or alternatively, he called for a Palestinian referendum to approve the document in 40 days. According to reports, Hamas is unwilling to accept the document.

On June 27, 2006, the document was revised and the Hamas and Fatah supposedly agreed to the revised version. The new text contains a number of changes. Some of these may be due to differences in translation, but others appear to be quite significant.

Both texts are given below with indications of the revisions in the new text. There are chiefly:

1- Omission of reference to national and democratic nature of Palestinian movement in the new document, in keeping with Hamas nationalist ideology.

2. This wording, chiefly reinforcing the claim for a right of return of Palestinian refugees, and emphasizing national unity,  is added in the introduction:

and based on the principle saying that rights don’t fall by law of limitations, and on the basis of no recognition of the legitimacy of occupation and for the sake of reinforcing the internal Palestinian front

3. Commitment to literal right of return is emphasized in article 1:

"...to their homes and properties from which they were evicted and to compensate them

4. Commitment to UN resolutions and international law is "limited" by the following assertion, not present in the original:

in a way that does not affect the rights of our people.

The UN Charter and international law provide for the right of self determination, which is Jus Cogens - over-riding law. That law would negate the Palestinian claim of unlimited right of return for Palestinian refugees, as well as the Hamas insistence, in their  Charter, on the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. A Hamas spokesperson announced that the Hamas charter remains in force and Hamas leaders have insisted that the agreement does not not grant recognition to Israel.

Though it was announced that the revised version was agreed upon by Hamas and Fatah, apparently not all the sides agreed finally, and therefore Mahmoud Abbas intended to hold a referendum on the document. 

Ami Isseroff


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The full text of the National Conciliation Document of the Prisoners
June 28, 2006

[This is the revised version in translation]

Source - http:// www.jmcc.org/documents/prisoners2.htm

In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful, "Abide by the decree of God and never disperse" (a verse from the Holy Quran)

Based on the high sense of historical national responsibility and in light of the dangers facing our people and based on the principle saying that rights don’t fall by law of limitations, and on the basis of no recognition of the legitimacy of occupation and for the sake of reinforcing the internal Palestinian front and maintain and protect the national unity and the unity of our people in the homeland and in the Diaspora and in order to confront the Israeli scheme that aims to impose the Israeli solution and to blow up the dream and right of our people in establishing their independent state with full sovereignty; this scheme that the Israeli government intends to execute in the next phase based on concluding the apartheid wall and the Judaization of Jerusalem and expansion of the Israeli settlements and the seizure of the Jordan Valley and the annexation of large areas from the West Bank and blocking the path in front of our people in exercising their right in return.

[the elision below in in the original text as published. It is not clear what has been omitted]

…towards safeguarding the accomplishments of our people throughout this long struggle and out of loyalty to our martyrs, prisoners and our injured and given that we are still in the a phase of liberation, (omitted: " with nationalism and democracy as the basic features, ") this necessitates that we formulate a political strategy. Therefore, with the goal of making our comprehensive national dialogue a success, based on the Cairo Declaration and coupled with the urgent need for unity and solidarity, we put forth this document (the national conciliation document) to our people, President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the PLO leadership, Prime Minister Ismail Hanieh, the Council of Ministers, the Speaker and members of the PNC, the Speaker and members of the PLC, all Palestinian forces and factions, all nongovernmental and popular organizations and institutions and to the popular leadership of the Palestinians in the homeland and in the Diaspora.

This document is being put forth as a complete package and the introduction is part of it:

1- The Palestinian people in the homeland and in the Diaspora seek and struggle to liberate their land and remove the settlements and evacuate the settlers and remove the apartheid and annexation and separation wall and to achieve their right to freedom, return and independence and to exercise their right to self-determination, including the right to establish their independent state with al-Quds al-Shareef as its capital on all territories occupied in 1967, and to secure the right of return for refugees to their homes and properties from which they were evicted and to compensate them and to liberate all prisoners and detainees without any discrimination and all of this is based on the historical right of our people on the land of our forefathers and based on the UN Charter and international law and legitimacy in a way that does not affect the rights of our people.

2- To speed up efforts to achieve that which was agreed on in Cairo in March 2005 pertaining to the development and reactivation of the PLO and the participation of all forces and factions to it according to democratic principles that reinforce the status of the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people wherever they are in a manner that meets with the changes on the Palestinian arena and in a manner that consolidates the authority of the PLO to assume its responsibilities in leading our people in the homeland and the Diaspora. The PLO should also be the body that mobilizes the people in defending their national, political and humanitarian rights in the various fora and circles and in the international and regional arenas. Furthermore, our national interest stipulates the formation of a new Palestinian National Council before the end of 2006 in a manner that secures the representation of all Palestinian national and Islamic forces, factions and parties and all sectors of our people through elections, where possible, according to proportional representation, and through agreement where it is not possible to hold elections according to mechanisms set up by the Higher Committee resulting from the Cairo Dialogue. The PLO therefore, will remain a broad front and framework and a comprehensive national coalition and the higher political reference for all the Palestinians in the homeland and in the Diaspora.

3- The right of the Palestinian people to resist and to uphold the option of resistance of occupation by various means and focusing resistance in territories occupied in 1967 in tandem with political action, negotiations and diplomacy whereby there is broad participation from all sectors in the popular resistance.

4- To formulate a Palestinian plan aimed at comprehensive political action; to unify Palestinian political discourse on the basis of the Palestinian national goals as mentioned in this document and according to Arab legitimacy and international legitimacy resolutions that grant justice to the Palestinian people maintaining their rights and constants to be implemented by the PLO leadership and its institutions, and the PNA represented in president and government, the national and Islamic factions, the civil society organizations and public figures. This is aimed at mobilizing Arab, Islamic and international political, financial, economic and humanitarian support and solidarity with our people and the PNA and to gain support for the right of our people to self-determination, freedom, return and independence; furthermore, it is aimed at confronting Israel’s plan to impose any unilateral solution on our people and to confront the oppressive siege.

5- To protect and support the PNA since it is the nucleus of the future state and was born of the struggle and sacrifices of the Palestinian people; to stress that higher national interests call for respecting the "Basic Law" of the PNA and the effective laws and for respecting the responsibilities and authorities of the president elected according to the will of the Palestinian people through free, honest and democratic elections. It also calls for respecting the responsibilities and authorities of the government granted by a vote of confidence from the PLC which came through free and honest and democratic elections and stress on the importance and need for creative cooperation between the presidency and the government; there should be joint action and regular meetings between them to achieve and reinforce cooperation and integration according to the provisions of the Basic Law and the higher national interests and for the need for comprehensive reforms in PNA institutions, especially the judiciary whereby the judiciary authority should be respected at all levels, its rulings implemented reinforce the rule of the law.

6- To work on forming a national unity government that secures the participation of parliamentary blocs and political forces interested in participating on the basis of this document and the joint program to upgrade the Palestinian situation at the local, Arab, regional and international levels. Their goal is also to implement the reform program and develop the national economy and encourage investment and fight poverty and unemployment and provide best possible care for the sectors that carried the burden of steadfastness, resistance and the Intifada and who were the victims of the Israeli aggression. In particular, this refers to the families of martyrs, prisoners and injured and the owners of demolished homes and properties, destroyed by the occupation, and the unemployed and graduates.

7- Administration of the negotiations falls within the jurisdiction of the PLO and the President of the PNA, which will be on the basis of adhering to Palestinian national goals as mentioned in this document on condition that any agreement must be presented to the new PNC for ratification or a general referendum to be held in the homeland and the Diaspora through organizing the referendum. (replaces " to hold a general referendum wherever it is possible")

8- Liberation of the prisoners and detainees is a sacred national duty that must be assumed by all Palestinian national and Islamic forces and factions, the PLO and the PNA represented in President and government, the PLC and all resistance forces.

9- Stressing on the need to double our efforts to support and care for the refugees and defend their rights and work on holding a popular conference representing the refugees that would create commissions to carry out duties towards the refugees and to stress on the right of return; the international community should also be pressured to implement Resolution 194 which stipulates the right of refugees to return and to be compensated.

10- To work on forming a unified resistance front called the "Palestinian Resistance Front" to lead and engage in resistance against the occupation and to unify and coordinate resistance action and work on defining a unified political reference for the front.

11- To cling to the principles of democracy and to hold regular, general, free and honest democratic elections according to the law for the presidency, the PLC and the local and municipal councils and trade unions and federations and to respect the principle of a peaceful and smooth transfer of authority and to stress on the principle of separation of authorities; the Palestinian democratic experience should be protected and any democratic choice and its results respected; furthermore, there should be respect for the rule of the law, public and fundamental freedoms, freedom of the press and equality among the citizens in rights and duties without discrimination; the achievements of women should be respected and further developed and promoted.

12- To reject and denounce the oppressive siege on the Palestinian people being led by the US and Israel and to call on the Arabs at the popular and official levels to support the Palestinian people, the PLO and the PNA and to call on the Arab governments to implement the political, financial, economic, and media decisions of the Arab summits that support the Palestinian people and their national cause; to stress that the PNA is committed to the Arab consensus and to joint Arab action that supports our just cause and the higher Arab interests.

13- To call on the Palestinian people to strive for unity and solidarity, to unify their ranks and to support the PLO and PNA represented in president and government; to endorse the people’s steadfastness and resistance in the face of Israeli aggression and siege and to reject any interference in internal Palestinian affairs.

14- To denounce all forms of division that could lead to internal strife; to condemn the use of weapons in settling internal disputes and to ban the use of weapons among the people; to stress on the sanctity of Palestinian blood and to adhere to dialogue as the sole means of resolving disagreements. There should be freedom of expression through ["all" is omitted] the media, which also applies to any party in opposition to the authority and its decisions in accordance with the law; adherence to the right to peaceful protest and to organize marches, demonstrations and sit-ins on condition that they be peaceful and unarmed and do not attack the property of citizens or public property.

15- The national interest necessitates the need to find the best means of allowing our people and their political forces in the Gaza Strip to participate in the battle for freedom, return and independence while bearing in mind the new situation in Gaza strip as true elevation and power for the steadfastness of our people and on the base of using the struggle methods of resisting the occupation while taking into consideration the higher interests of our people.

16- The need to reform and develop the Palestinian security system in all its branches in a modern manner that allows them to assume their responsibilities in defending the homeland and people and in confronting the aggression and the occupation; their duties also include maintaining security and public order, enforcing laws, ending the state of security chaos and lawlessness, ending the public show of arms and parades and confiscating any weapons that harm the resistance and distort its image or those that threaten the unity of Palestinian society; there is also a need to coordinate and organize the relationship between the security forces and the resistance and organize and protect their weapons.

17- To call on the PLC to continue issuing laws that regulate the work of the security apparatus in its various branches and to work towards issuing a law that bans the exercise of political and partisan action by members of the security services whereby they are required to abide by the elected political reference as defined by law.

18- To work on expanding the role and presence of international solidarity committees and peace-loving groups that support our people in their just struggle against the occupation, settlements and the apartheid wall both politically and locally; to work towards the implementation of the International Court of Justice ruling at The Hague pertaining to the dismantlement of the wall and settlements and their illegitimate presence.

 


The full text of the National Conciliation Document of the Palestinian Prisoners

[This is the original version]

May 11, 2006


In the name of God, the Compassionate and the Merciful,
"Abide by the decree of God and never disperse" (a verse from the Holy Qur'an)

Based on a high sense of national and historical responsibility, and owing to the dangers facing our people and for the sake of reinforcing and consolidating the Palestinian internal front and protection of national unity and the unity of our people in the homeland and in the Diaspora, and in order to confront the Israeli scheme that aims to impose the Israeli solution which shatters the dream of our people and the right of our people in establishing their independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty; this scheme that the Israeli government intends to impalement in the next phase as establishment of the erection and completion of the apartheid wall and the Judaization of the Jerusalem and the expansion of the Israeli settlements and the seizure of the Jordan Valley and the annexation of vast areas of the West Bank and blocking the path in front of our people to exercise their right in return.

In order to maintain the accomplishments of our people achieved in long struggle path and in loyalty to the martyrs of our great people and the pains of their prisoners and the agony of their injured, and based on the fact that we are still passing through a liberation phase with nationalism and democracy as the basic features, and this imposes a political struggle strategy that meets with these features and in order to make the Palestinian comprehensive national dialogue succeed, and based on the Cairo Declaration and the urgent need for unity and solidarity, we present this document (the national conciliation document) to our great steadfast people and to President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen and to the PLO Leadership and to the PM Ismail Hanieh and to the Council of Ministers and to the Speaker of the PNC and to the members of the PNC and to the Speaker and members of the PLC and to all Palestinian forces and factions and to all nongovernmental and popular organizations and institutions and to leadership of Palestinian public opinion in the homeland and in the Diaspora.

Hoping to consider this document as one whole package and with the hope to see this document get unanimous support and approval and that it can contribute to reach a Palestinian national conciliation document.

1- the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the Diaspora seek to liberate their land and to achieve their right in freedom, return and independence and to exercise their right in self determination, including the right to establish their independent state with al-Quds al-Shareef as its capital on all territories occupied in 1967 and to secure the right of return for the refugees and to liberate all prisoners and detainees based on the historical right of our people on the land of the fathers and grandfathers and based on the UN Charter and the international law and international legitimacy.

2- to work quickly on achieving what has been agreed upon in Cairo in March 2005 pertaining to the development and activation of the PLO and the joining of Hamas and Islamic Jihad Movements to the PLO which is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people wherever they are located and in a manner that meets with changes on the Palestinian arena according to democratic principles and to consolidate the fact that the PLO is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinian people in a manner that reinforces the capacity of the PLO to assume its responsibilities in leading our people in the homeland and in the Diaspora and in mobilizing the people and in defending their national, political and humanitarian rights in the various fora and circles and in the international and regional arenas and based on the fact that the national interest stipulates the formation of a new Palestinian National Council before the end of 2006 in a manner that secures the representation of all Palestinian national and Islamic forces, factions and parties and all concentrations of our people everywhere and the various sectors and the figures on proportional basis in representation and presence and struggle and political, social and popular effectiveness and to maintain the PLO as a broad front and framework and a comprehensive national coalition and a gathering framework for all the Palestinians in the homeland and in the Diaspora and to be the higher political reference.

3- the right of the Palestinian people in resistance and clinging to the option of resistance with the various means and focusing the resistance in the occupied territories of 1967 alongside with the political action and negotiations and diplomatic action and continuation of popular and mass resistance against the occupation in its various forms and policies and making sure there is broad participation by all sectors and masses in the popular resistance.

4- To set up a Palestinian plan towards comprehensive political action and to unify the Palestinian political rhetoric on the basis of the Palestinian national consensus program and Arab legitimacy and the international legitimacy resolutions that grant justice to the Palestinian people who are represented by the PLO and the PNA as president and government, and the national and Islamic factions and the civil society organizations and the public figures in order to mobilize Arab, Islamic and international political and financial and economic and humanitarian support and solidarity to our people and to our PNA and to support the right of our people in self determination and freedom and return and independence and to confront the plan of Israel in imposing the Israeli solution on our people and to confront the oppressive siege on the Palestinian people.

5- To protect and reinforce the PNA since it is the nucleus of the future state; this PNA which was established by the struggle and sacrifices, blood and pain of the Palestinian people and to stress on the fact the higher national interests stipulates respecting the temporary constitution of the PNA and the effective laws and respecting the responsibilities and authorities of the president elected according to the will of the Palestinian people through free, honest and democratic elections and to respect the responsibilities and authorities of the government that was granted the confidence vote by the PLC.

And the importance and the need for creative cooperation between the presidency and the government and joint work and hold regular meetings between them to settle any disputes that might arise through brotherly dialogue based on the temporary constitution and for the sake of the higher interests and the need to hold a comprehensive reform in the PNA institutions, especially the judicial apparatus and the respect of the judiciary authority at all levels and to implement its decisions and to reinforce the rule of the law.

6- to form a national unity government on a basis that secures the participation of all parliament blocs, especially Fatah and Hamas and the political forces that desire to participate on the basis of this document and the joint program to upgrade the Palestinian situation at the local, Arab, regional and international levels and to confront the challenges through having a strong national government that enjoys Palestinian popular and political support from all forces and to present the best possible care for the sectors that carried the burden of steadfastness and resistance and the Intifada and who were the victims of the Israeli criminal aggression, especially the families of the martyrs, prisoners and injured and the owners of the demolished homes and properties which were destroyed by the occupation, in addition to the care to the unemployed and the graduates.

7- Administration of the negotiations is the jurisdiction of the PLO and the President of the PNA on the basis of clinging to the Palestinian national goals and to achieve these goals on condition that any final agreement must be presented to the new PNC for ratification or to hold a general referendum wherever it is possible.

8- To liberate the prisoners and detainees is a sacred national duty that must be assumed by all Palestinian national and Islamic forces and factions and the PLO and the PNA as President and government and the PLC and all resistance forces.

9- The need to double efforts to support and care for the refugees and defend their rights and work on holding a popular conference representing the refugees which should come up with commissions to follow up its duties and to stress on the right of return and to cling to this right and to call on the international community to implement Resolution 194 which stipulates the right of the refugees to return and to be compensated.

10- to work on forming a unified resistance front under the name "Palestinian resistance front" to lead and engage in resistance against the occupation and to unify and coordinate action and resistance and to form a unified political reference for the front.

11- to cling to the democratic trend and to hold regular general free and honest and democratic elections according to the law for the president and the PLC and the local and municipal councils and to respect the principle of peaceful and smooth transfer of authority and to promise to protect the Palestinian democratic experience and respect the democratic choice and its results and respect the rule of the law and the public and basic freedoms and freedom of the press and equality among the citizens in rights and duties without any discrimination and to protect the achievements of women and develop and reinforce them.

12- to reject and denounce the oppressive siege against the Palestinian people which is being led by the US and Israel and call on the Arabs at the popular and official levels to support the Palestinian people and the PLO and the PNA and to call on the Arab governments to implement the political, financial, economic, and media decisions of the Arab summits that support the Palestinian people and their steadfastness and their national cause and to stress that the PNA is committed to the Arab consensus and to joint Arab action.

13- to call on the Palestinian people for unity and solidarity and unifying the ranks and support the PLO and the PNA as president and government and to reinforce steadfastness and resistance in face of the aggression and siege and to reject intervention in the Palestinian internal affairs.

14- to denounce all forms of split that can lead to internal conflicts and to condemn the use of weapons regardless of the reasons in settling internal disputes and to ban the use of weapons among the members of the Palestinian people and to stress on the sanctity of the Palestinian blood and to abide by dialogue as the sole means to solve disagreements and freedom of expression through all media, including the opposition to the authority and its decisions on the basis of the law and the right of peaceful protest and to organize marches and demonstrations and sit ins on condition that they be peaceful and without any arms and not to attack the properties of citizens and public property.

15- The national interest stipulates the need to look for the best means towards the continuation of participation of the Palestinian people and their political forces in Gaza Strip in their new situation in the battle for freedom, return and independence and to liberate the West Bank and Jerusalem in a manner that makes the steadfast Gaza Strip a real support force to steadfastness and resistance of our people in the West Bank and Jerusalem as the national interest stipulates reassessing the struggle methods to seek the best methods to resist occupation.

16- the need to reform the develop the Palestinian security institution with all its branches on a modern basis and in a manner that makes them capable of assuming their tasks in defending the homeland and the citizens and in confronting the aggression and the occupation and to maintain security and public order and implement the laws and end the state of chaos and security chaos and end the forms of public armed presence and parades and confiscation of the chaotic weapons that harm the resistance and distort its image and that threaten the unity of the Palestinian society and the need to coordinate and organize the relation with the forces of resistance and organize and protect their weapons.

17- to call on the PLC to continue to issue laws that organize the work of the security institution and apparatuses with their various branches and work on issuing a law that bans exercise of political and partisan action by the members of the security services and to abide by the elected political reference as defined by the law.

18- to work on expanding the role and presence of the international solidarity committees and the peace loving groups that support our people in their just struggle against the occupation, settlements, the apartheid wall politically and locally and to work towards the implementation of the International Court of Justice decision at The Hague pertaining to the removal of the wall and settlements and their illegitimate presence.

Signed by:

Fatah – PLC member Marwan Barghouthi, Fatah Secretary.
Hamas – Sheikh Abdul Khaleq al-Natsheh – Higher Leading Commission
Islamic Jihad Movement – Sheikh Bassam al-Sa'di
PFLP – Abdul Rahim Mallouh – member of PLO Executive Committee and Deputy
General Secretary of the PFLP
DFLP – Mustafa Badarneh
Note: Islamic Jihad expressed reservations on the item pertaining to the negotiations



Source: Al-Quds newspaper – May 11, 2005

 

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