Palestinian National Authority

Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State

Program of the Thirteenth Government

August 2009

Table of Contents



Our Vision of the State of Palestine

Foundational Principles

National Goals

Institutional Development

Sector Priorities, Policies and Programs:

National Goals

The PNA, including all its respective governing institutions and agencies, is mandated to manage the day-to-day affairs of the Palestinian people under the occupation. Through good performance the Government, as arm of the Executive, can significantly enhance the PLO’s ability to manage the political struggle by creating a strong, united, internal and national front. First and foremost, the Government is required to develop policies and make decisions that bolster the Palestinian society’s strength, cohesion, and perseverance. The Government also bears considerable responsibility for facilitating the national dialogue aimed at ending the state of political fragmentation and restoring national unity. The formation of a democratically-elected leadership that enjoys popular and factional support, as well as regional and international recognition, is an essential step towards realising the supreme national goal of establishing the State of Palestine. In pursuit of this supreme goal, the 13th Government hereby asserts its binding commitment to the following national goals on the basis of its absolute dedication, as the Government of the President, to the political platform of the PLO, including all its components and obligations, and all of its bilateral and multilateral agreements.
End the occupation of the Palestinian territory since 1967

In 1988, the Palestinian National Council issued the Palestinian Declaration of Independence and announced its readiness to enter peace negotiations with Israel on the basis of UN Resolutions 242 and 338. The PLO, the founder and nurturer of the Palestinian national struggle and the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, also offered in 1988 the Palestinian Peace Initiative, in which it officially endorsed the two-state solution in line with relevant international resolutions. Ever since, the Palestinians have been steadfast in pursuit of a peaceful resolution to the conflict as a means to bring about an end to the occupation, and to secure liberty and self-determination on our homeland. In doing so, we honour the sacrifices made by people in their determination to remain on the homeland. This is our only homeland and we will never leave it.

In Oslo in 1993, the PLO agreed to form the PNA for an interim period, pending resolution of final status issues and the formation of an independent State of Palestine. Despite commitment by both the PLO and PNA to all provisions of agreements signed with Israel, the occupation, colonization and cantonization of our land have persisted and gathered pace as successive Israeli governments turned from the path of peace. Israel remains in full control of security and civil life in of the West Bank, whilst Gaza remains under siege and our people there are subjected to inhuman collective punishment. Furthermore, Palestinian life in Jerusalem is under daily attack through systematic violations perpetrated by the occupation regime.

It is the right and the duty of all Palestinians to protect their land, reject the occupation and defy its measures. The Government bears special responsibility for nurturing our people’s ability to persevere and protect their homeland. The Government is obligated to support our people in peaceful, popular movements to confront the occupying authorities’ measures, including land seizure and confiscation, settlement activities, construction of Separation Wall, and house demolitions.

Convinced that strengthening PNA’s institutions and bolstering the steadfastness of the Palestinians on their homeland is the basis for challenging the occupation and defying its measures, this Government affirms its commitment to the completing the work of the 12th Government, and all its predecessors, to building strong, sustainable, competent and effective democratic institutions capable of serving our people and protecting their interests. Inspired by this conviction, we hereby call upon our people to unite and work towards affirming our right and proving our ability to end the occupation, and thereby secure our freedom and independence.

Promote national unity

The Government emphasizes that national unity is the point of departure and the foundation of the Palestinian national cause. Protection and preservation of this unity is a national duty. Without it the compass of our national struggle will falter and we will stray from the true path to ending the occupation, our national integrity will fade away, and our very existence and steadfastness will crumble through separation and fragmentation.

The Government reiterates its commitment to national unity on the tenets and principles of the PLO. It considers that the current state of Palestinian political fragmentation is destructive and contrary to our national interest. In this context, the Government affirms its commitment to the principle of political pluralism. However, it does not deem the present split to be a legitimate representation of political pluralism, but rather a threat to such pluralism. Therefore, as a government, we emphasize the importance of concluding the national unity dialogue and ending the factional split so that all our energies can be devoted to defying and ending the occupation.

This Government will continue to work unceasingly to lift the siege on our people and to shoulder its responsibilities, particularly in the Gaza Strip. It will also dedicate itself and all its efforts to expediting an end to the state of division and restoring unity to our homeland and institutions, ensuring that national elections are held on their constitutionally mandated date in January 2010. This is a constitutional requirement and a natural right of citizens that must be respected and implemented.

Protect Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Palestinian state

Jerusalem is our people’s religious, cultural, economic and political center. It is the Flower of Cities and Capital of Capitals. It cannot be anything but the eternal capital of the future Palestinian state. Jerusalem is under threat: the occupying authority is implementing a systematic plan to alter the city’s landmarks and its geographical and demographic character in order to forcibly create facts on the ground, ultimately separating it from its Palestinian surroundings and eradicating its Arab Palestinian heritage. To achieve this goal, the occupying authority is pursuing its intensive settlement policy in and around Jerusalem, including land confiscation, expanding and distorting the city’s structural plans, and, through the construction of the Wall, isolating it from its Palestinian surroundings. Inside the city, which has effectively been converted by these policies into an isolated and closed ghetto, the occupation regime has shut down our national institutions, neglected the development of Palestinian life, continued to demolish and evacuate Palestinian homes, and restricted access to sacred Christian and Islamic sites. If these measures continue, the possibility of establishing the Palestinian state and ending the conflict on the basis of the two-state solution will be terminally undermined.

The Government emphasizes its unreserved commitment to defending the Arab character and status of Jerusalem, and to restore its character as a city of peace, worship and tolerance that, with no barriers or walls, is open not only to our people but to all humankind. The Government will continue to do all that is possible to achieve this goal. The Government will work with all organizations to preserve the landmarks of Jerusalem and its Arab Palestinian heritage, develop the city, and secure its contiguity with its Palestinian surroundings. The Government will also dedicate all its capacities to confront the occupation regime’s policies; continue to work on regional and international levels to stop these policies; support education, health, economic, cultural, and tourism activities; reopen Palestinian institutions; defy house demolition and evacuation orders; and resist all restrictions on our citizens, thereby safeguarding their struggle to remain steadfast in the capital city of their homeland.

Protect refugees and follow up on attainment of their rights

The majority of the Palestinian people are refugees and displaced persons living in the Palestinian territory and abroad. Most refugees live under oppressive and harsh conditions, lacking their most fundamental human rights, foremost of which is the right to live on their homeland. Though the issue of refugees will be addressed in the final status negotiations, it is certain that no political settlement can be accepted by Palestinians without a just and agreed solution to this fundamental issue in accordance with international resolutions, including UN General Assembly Resolution 194.

The refugee issue will remain under the jurisdiction of the PLO, through its Department of Refugees’ Affairs. The Government affirms its full commitment to all PLO decisions in relation to this issue. Within limits of its jurisdiction, without derogation of PLO’s responsibility, and in a manner that does not exempt the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) from its responsibilities, the Government emphasizes that it will do all within its power and authority to bolster on the legal rights and living conditions of refugees in the occupied territory, particularly in refugee camps, including the provision of all the resources it can afford to support and alleviate the suffering of refugees in all aspects of their lives.

Secure the release of prisoners

The continued detention of thousands of Palestinian detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention camps, in violation of international law and basic human rights, is of great concern to all Palestinians. First and foremost the suffering of these prisoners, who along with their families have made great sacrifices in pursuit of the national liberation cause, is a political and humanitarian issue.

Securing the freedom of all these heroic prisoners is an utmost Palestinian priority and it is a fundamental duty all Palestinians feel to honor their great sacrifices and end their suffering. In this context, the Government emphasizes its full commitment to the freedom of all Palestinian detainees and prisoners and will continue to strive to secure their liberty. Until this goal is achieved, the Government will work tirelessly to provide various forms of support to prisoners and their families. It will also work on all levels, with all relevant Palestinian and international organizations, to lobby and advocate for their release, restore their freedom, and reintegrate them into society.

Ensure human development

People are the most important and most precious asset in Palestine. They are central to our national struggle and our steadfast will to secure liberation from the occupation. They will be the essential driver of the development of the Palestinian state following independence. The Government attaches supreme importance to developing the capacities of all Palestinian citizens. The Palestinian people have suffered gravely from the anguish of the occupation and have shouldered heavy burdens. In addition to the suppression of human capacity in all spheres, the occupation’s oppressive measures have left our people with physical disabilities and psychological pain. Therefore, care and attention to the physical and mental health as well as development of human resources are an utmost priority on the Government’s agenda.

More than one third of the Palestinian people attend schools. A large number of Palestinian youths are also enrolled in academic and vocational courses at universities and other institutions providing higher education. We value knowledge, learning and education very highly. Provision of high quality education that encourages cultural openness and protects national heritage is a high priority on the Government’s agenda. Accordingly, the Government is committed to providing all necessary support to promote the quality of education at all levels, to ensure that it keeps pace with international standards whilst ensuring that our curricula embody essential Palestinian Arab values of tolerance, mutual respect, family and social relationships, and pride in our culture and heritage. The Government will also ensure that the education system gives all our children the opportunity to acquire expertise and skills to enable them to serve their homeland and compete actively in a vibrant labour market.

The Government is committed to continually improving health care and social services to its people. We will give utmost attention to injured citizens, prisoners, martyrs and their families. We will also care for people with special needs and provide the facilities and means to secure their positive engagement in society and promote their full involvement in the development of our homeland.

The Government further affirms its conviction that the development of Palestine relies on the creation of generations of Palestinian possessing the confidence, expertise and skills to thrive in a healthy and positive environment, thereby reversing the negative impacts of the occupation. To this end, the Government is committed to policies and programs that will propel and guide these generations to overcome obstacles and build their capacities.

Achieve economic independence and national prosperity

Liberating the Palestinian national economy from external hegemony and control, and reversing its dependence on the Israeli economy, is a high national priority. A capable state is built on the foundations of a strong, sustainable, active and efficient economy. In spite of all Israeli restrictions, and recognising that sustainable development cannot be attained under the occupation, it is our national duty to do all that we can to pull our economy out of the cycle of dependence and marginalization. This is essential to our effort to build state institutions.

Accomplishment of this goal is essential to resisting the measures imposed by the occupation regime and ending the occupation itself. Achieving economic growth is a necessity so that we can promote our people’s ability to persevere and remain on their homeland by alleviating the poverty and unemployment generated by the continued occupation. It will also promote the contribution of all segments of our society in the struggle to build an independent and self-sufficient state.

The Government is committed to continuously developing all segments of the Palestinian economy, building a free and competitive economic system through close cooperation between a competent, capable and visionary public sector and a pioneering private sector committed of achieving prosperity for our people. The Government is also committed to economic policies and development plans that focus on developing domestic capacities and resources, creating an environment that attracts investment, and laying the foundations of sustainable growth and development which will ultimately reduce dependence on external aid. Although the achievement of this target under the occupation’s disruptive and restrictive policies and measures is extremely difficult, the Government confirms its duty to support and channel all available capacities towards this endeavor in cooperation with our Arab brethren and international friends. In the near term, we aim to provide essential economic stimulus to alleviate poverty. Our longer term objective is to build a vibrant, knowledge-based economy capable of producing competitive goods and delivering high quality services. A solid economic foundation will be the basis of our people’s prosperity and social welfare.

Bring equality and social justice to all citizens

We are building a Palestinian state to secure a peaceful and prosperous future for Palestinians in their homeland. Palestinians must enjoy equality, rights and freedoms across the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, as one political and geographical entity. The Israeli occupation regime’s policies and actions have subjected our people to violence and oppression, most particularly in Jerusalem, in Gaza, and in West Bank towns and villages isolated by the Wall, in the ‘seam zone’ and in Area C.
In the face of restrictions imposed by the occupation regime, the Government struggles each day to deliver support and assistance to our citizens, especially isolated communities and other marginalized and vulnerable groups. The Government is committed to delivering essential services to all communities to ensure a decent quality of life, in spite of the occupation, and to solidify the foundations of our future state. Our commitment to a free market economy is firm. We will not allow monopolies and other forms of economic opportunism and exploitation that undermine social justice and equity. The Government is also obligated to provide social protection and development to all citizens. In this context, the Government will continue to develop its policies, consolidate the social security system and implement empowerment programs to ensure a decent standard of living for all citizens. The Government believes that a free market economy, properly regulated in the public interest, can be harnessed to elevate the standards of housing, education, health, and other social and cultural services to our citizens.

In firm belief in the equality of men and women, the Government expresses its conviction and commitment to empower women and guarantee equal opportunities. This is essential to ensure that we mobilize the full capacity of our society and work together towards ending the occupation and establishing an independent state that guarantees equality and social justice for all citizens.

Consolidate good governance

Achieving our national goals depends on the adoption of the basic principles and practices of good governance throughout the public sector, the private sector and civil society. In the light of the occupation regime’s continued measures that hamper the efficiency and effectiveness of our national institutions, the establishment and promotion of good governance in the occupied territory is elevated to the status of a national goal in and of itself. The basic aim is to meet the demand of our people for transparent, accountable institutions that deliver services, social development, economic growth, and career opportunities free from favouritism and wastefulness. Achieving this goal requires commitment and determined effort from all corners of our society.

The Government is committed to building effective institutions, consolidating the rule of law and serving its citizens. It is a champion of judicial independence, individual and collective political and civil rights, and democratic freedoms. The Government will reinvigorate public oversight mechanisms; promote integrity, transparency, and accountability; and, fight all kinds of corruption and favouritism. It will also embrace and promote the principles of competence, professionalism, and merit-based recruitment and promotion in the public sector and, in doing so, empower civil servants to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively.

Bring safety and security across the homeland

Guaranteeing security, safety, peace and tranquillity within Palestinian society is a fundamental duty of the state. The social and economic well-being of citizens, the protection of their individual rights and freedoms, the preservation of our national unity, and the safeguarding of our pluralistic and democratic political system is absolutely dependent on an effective and efficient state security apparatus which adheres to the rule of law, and respects the independence of the judiciary and equality of all before the law. The prosperity and well-being of citizens requires the full accountability of the security establishment to the political leadership and its operation in accordance with the law.

The Government is committed to the continued modernization and professionalization of the Palestinian security services under the banner of ‘One Homeland, One Flag and One Law’. These agencies must be subject to the rule of law and to oversight by the legislative and judicial authorities. The Government will continue to apply the law and adopt a code of conduct to hold accountable all security services employees in line with human rights and freedoms. Abiding by the principle of judicial independence, we will prohibit politically-motivated arrests and detention that have no legal basis.

Build positive regional and international relations

The State of Palestine can and must play a vital role in driving regional and global stability and prosperity. Palestinian communities in the homeland and all over the world have demonstrated their ingenuity, their enthusiasm, and their determination to make a positive contribution to the societies in which they live. Palestinians are active and productive members of the global community and have played a key role in promoting the principles of democracy, tolerance and openness. Even under great adversity, particularly in the occupied territories, we have shown our collective will to build, not to destroy. We have been able to do this through our own steadfastness and human capacities and with the generous moral and financial support from our Arab brethren and our friends in the international community. We cherish this support and look forward to it continuing as we tread the path to peace, freedom and independence.

The Government is committed playing its part in securing a just settlement to the conflict and regional peace. We will do this through actively supporting the efforts of, and in solidarity with, the PLO, the sole and legitimate representative of our people. We will also support the maintenance of constructive relations with our brethren in the Arab and Islamic worlds, and in the broader international community. Liberated from the shackles of occupation and discrimination, we have almost boundless potential to build a better future for ourselves, for our neighbours in the region, and for the global community.

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