Ma'an News Agency
January 27, 2010 - 1:00am

During its weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad held on Monday, members said that elections could be held in June, if the Egyptian document is signed immediately.

Cabinet members expressed regret for not holding presidential and legislative elections on the constitutionally set date. Members called for a swift national reconciliation that would allow for elections to be conducted, in accordance with the constitution as well as the Egyptian proposal, considering it the guarantee for protecting the Palestinian democratic system and national achievements.

Members further spoke of hope for the success of international peace efforts but stressed the need for an Israeli commitment to international law and the Roadmap Agreement, primarily a full cessation of settlement activities, especially in and around east Jerusalem, to give way to resuming serious and productive negotiations leading to an end of Israeli occupation of 1967 Palestinian Territory.

The cabinet approved a decision declaring 27 January a day of national solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons.

Fayyad briefed the cabinet on his visit to Spain, which currently holds the EU presidency, and his meetings with Palestinian ambassadors in Europe as well as Spanish officials. He stressed the need to implement the EU document regarding the occupied Palestinian territories, Jerusalem and Israeli illegal action and international positions.

The caretaker prime minister further highlighted the important role Europe could play in ending Israeli violations of international law, and be an active and prime partner in the Quartet in order to guarantee the success of peace efforts aimed at ending the Israeli occupation and enabling the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders.

The Cabinet said it is pursuing efforts to implement the cabinet plan for 'institution building despite Israeli occupation' and condemned Israeli practices that continue to obstruct such efforts. In this context, it condemned recent Israeli obstacles and oppressive measures against international humanitarian organizations, as Israel laid further restrictions on the granting of work permits to employees of international relief agencies.

Fayyad confirmed the disbursement of a 4% increase of the basic salary of civil servants, including the living-costs and annual salary increase, effective this month.

Members expressed their gratitude for the EU's financial grant of 158.5 million Euros to cover this year’s running costs, while noting the need for continued support to PA institution building and state building efforts.

The Cabinet welcomed the World Health Organization (WHO) statement which warned from the serious implications of the severe collapse of the health service sector in Gaza, as a result of the Israeli imposed siege.


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