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:


The conditions under which the Palestinian people now live are probably the harshest ever. Witnessing forced migration, displacement, imprisonment, assassinations, impoverishment and deprivation, Palestinian families and society are suffering terribly. Nevertheless, Palestinian society remains cohesive. The Palestinian people are proud of their heritage and culture. Policy priorities in the sector may be summarized in four domains.

Preserving social cohesion: To counteract the negative effects of fragmentation of the Palestinian homeland and displacement of the Palestinian people, the Government will develop special programs to strengthen and consolidate social cohesion.

Providing social protection: Palestinian society suffers from impoverishment and marginalization more than any other society with comparable education sector indicators. This is an inevitable result of the Israeli occupation regime’s ongoing destruction of Palestinian physical, social and economic infrastructure. The Government will provide a social safety net to bring short term relief from the occupation regime’s impact. In the medium term, following establishment of the Palestinian state, the social safety net will provide social protection to marginalized and deprived social groups.

Preserving cultural heritage: The Government will preserve Palestinian cultural heritage and its character of religious and intellectual pluralism. The Government will also promote and consolidate Palestinian values inherited over successive generations, including social solidarity, close family ties, loyalty and integrity.
Promoting equal opportunities: The Government believes that providing equal opportunities for all citizens is a foundation of social justice and will enable channelling of all the society’s energies towards building our modern state. To consolidate the principle of equal opportunities, the Government will provide quality education and health care to all citizens regardless of social class.

Objectives and activities of sector institutions

Below is a summary of the key objectives and related activities of the main governmental bodies in the sector.

Ministry of Social Affairs The Ministry of Social Affairs (MoSA) has the following objectives:

Provide social protection to poor and marginalized groups through:
• Making cash transfers to severely impoverished families; families affected by the occupation regime’s policies in Gaza, areas adjacent to the Separation Wall, Jerusalem, and in the Jordan Valley; and, to orphans.
• Providing food packages to families amongst the poorest 60% of Palestinian families which do not receive cash assistance and to pregnant and breast feeding mothers within the poorest 40% of the population. In addition, MoSA will provide a hot meal to children at nurseries in areas classified as pockets of poverty.
• Providing health insurance to those under the extreme poverty line by targeting the poorest 70 % of the most impoverished households; the elderly who are located within the poorest 30% of the population; disabled members of households located within the poorest 30% of the population; and all citizens from households under the extreme poverty line.
• Providing social care, rehabilitation and protection to physically disabled citizens and the elderly under the extreme poverty line, in addition to taking care of delinquent minors, rehabilitating the disabled, and providing protection and shelter to orphans and to children, women and elderly persons who are victims of violence.
• Economically empowering the poor by providing training and funding to SMEs run by economically deprived households, the disabled, female-headed families, and impoverished new graduates from universities and other tertiary education establishments. Enhance the targeting and effectiveness of social protection activities through:
• Developing a unified social safety net and upgrading social protection legislation.
• Reviewing and developing MoSA’s organizational structure and working methods to improve staff performance.
• Institutionalising and enhancing working relationships with domestic and international governmental and non-governmental organizations providing humanitarian aid.
• Supporting, in cooperation with UNRWA, service delivery to refugees in refugee camps.
• Promoting, in cooperation with other relevant bodies, steadfastness of citizens living in uniquely threatened areas, such as Jerusalem, communities affected by the Wall and settlements.

Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has the following objectives:

Provide opportunities to access and benefit from the ‘Education for All’ Program through:
• Building classrooms throughout the occupied territory.
• Providing text books, stationery and equipment.
• Ensuring an appropriate learning environment for persons with special needs.
• Supporting education in Jerusalem.
• Providing loans to enable students to enrol in higher education.
•Encouraging enrolment at vocational and technical educational centers.

Enhance the quality of regular and vocational education through:
• Developing curricula.
• Promoting the use of ICT in education.
• Developing teaching techniques and enhancing the capacity of teachers.
• Developing a teaching monitoring and evaluation system.
Improve performance of higher education facilities through:
• Matching higher education with the requirements of the domestic labour market and national needs.
• Promoting a culture of scientific research in Palestine and exchanging expertise with other nations.
• Promoting the financial independence of higher education institutions.
Increase effectiveness of service delivery through:
• Developing MoE’s the organizational structure and working methods and its laws and regulations.
• Computerising data and financial administration systems.
• Developing the administrative and financial regulation pertaining to the Student Loans Fund.
• Enhancing cooperation with educational institutions and civil society organizations.

Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has the following objectives:

Ensure easy access to high-quality health care services by all Palestinian citizens through:
• Completing the health care services network in the field of primary health care.
    - Construct 6 health directorates in Jenin, Tulkarem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Tubas, and Dura.
    - Refurbish and 25 level 2 and level 3 health care clinics.
    - Construct 10 new clinics.
• Completing the health care services network in the field of secondary and tertiary health care (hospitals). This program will include the following:
    - Upgrade and reequip governmental hospitals as well as expand hospitals of Jericho, Beit Jala, Jenin, Rafidia, Hebron, Yatta, and Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah.
    - Build a new hospital with a capacity of 50 beds in Tubas.
    - Rehabilitate the mental health care facility in Bethlehem.
    - Develop a plan to construct a hospital for cancer treatment and a center for blood diseases.
• Developing MoH human resources, including:
    - Developing and recruiting medical specialists.
    - Enhancing capacity of health care sector employees by implementing residency programs for medical specializations.
    - Adopting a decentralized administrative and financial approach in operating the Palestine Medical Compound in Ramallah to enable recruitment of specialists from the private sector and from abroad. Ensure sustainable health care service delivery through:
• Rationalizing procurement of services from abroad as well as recruiting and developing local capacity to provide specialist healthcare services.
• Computerizing hospitals and developing health care information systems. • Approving and enforcing a modernized law on health insurance.
• Eliminating the abuse of the free health insurance.
• Developing various new national health strategies, including a Drugs Strategy, a National Anti-Cancer Strategy, and a National Nutrition Strategy, and revising outdated national strategies.

Ministry of Labour

The Ministry of Labour (MoL) has the following objectives:

Safeguard workers’ rights through:
• Developing labor laws and regulations and monitoring their enforcement.
• Developing and regulating union activity in Palestine.
• Appointing inspectors and providing them with continuing education.
• Creating a social security system that safeguards workers’ rights and provides health care services for them and for their families.

Enhance the skills of Palestinian workers to enable them to compete in the global economy through:
• Rejuvenating the National Vocational and Technical Education and Training Strategy.
• Matching vocational and technical training with labour market needs.
• Upgrading and invigorating a labour market information system and activating the Palestinian Employment Fund.
• Enhancing the quality of vocational and technical education and training in cooperation with relevant PNA bodies.
• Distributing vocational and technical training centers throughout the occupied territory. Rejuvenate the role of cooperative organizations, and promote participation and accountability mechanisms within these organizations through:
• Approving a Palestinian Law on Cooperatives, developing by-laws, and enhancing oversight of cooperatives.
• Implementing programs for building the capacities of cooperative movements. • Establishing of cooperative organizations and encouraging communal activities.

Ministry of Women’s Affairs

The Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA) has the following objectives:

Enable women’s participation in policy and decision-making through:
• Enacting and enforcing legislation to ensure women’s participation.
• Ensuring that various governmental policies and programs heed gender issues and women’s participation.
• Providing support to women to access decision-making centers.
• Launching a dialogue with various Palestinian political parties to ensure women’s representation.
• Promoting partnership with the civil society and private sector in gender issues.
• Developing and implementing public awareness programs.

Assessing the Government’s commitment to gender issues through:
• Monitoring and evaluating commitment and progress made by ministries in relation to gender issues.
• Developing the capacity of gender units to monitor and evaluate the gender sensitivity of ministries’ operations.
• Participating in monitoring and evaluation of implementation of Millennium Development Goals.

Alleviate the impact of poverty on women in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental institutions through: •
Developing a national strategy to promote women’s participation in the labour market.
• Reviewing and developing national policies to elevate women’s participation in the labour market.
• Encouraging women to enrol at vocational and technical educational centers.
• Developing programs that provide finance for women to establish SMEs.
• Work with MoSA to provide aid to needy female-headed households.

Fight violence against women through:
• Enacting and enforcing legislation.
• Developing a national strategy to combat violence against women.
• Developing and implementing public awareness programs.
• Contributing to developing plans for establishment of centers to protect abused women.

Ministry of Culture

The Ministry of Culture (MoC) has the following objectives:

Preserve the Arab cultural identity of Jerusalem through:
• Promoting Palestinian cultural activities and events in the city.
• Developing Palestinian cultural infrastructure.

Maintain Palestinian national cultural heritage and identity through:
• Using physical heritage (including traditional industries and handicrafts) to generate national income.
• Documenting collective oral history and transmitting it to future generations.
• Developing programs to protect national culture from negative impacts of globalization and confronting attempts to replace the national cultural identity.
• Encouraging cultural exchange between Palestinians at home, in the Diaspora and inside Israel.
• Promoting cultural exchange with Arab countries and with the entire world.

Encourage culture and ensure equitable service delivery through:
• Cultural development of vulnerable communities and groups.
• Working with relevant institutions to promulgate laws to rejuvenate cultural life in all its forms.
• Establishing, equipping and operating cultural infrastructure, including theatres, museums and libraries. • Developing the MoC’s organizational structures, working methods and the capacity of its staff.

Ministry of the Wall and Settlement Affairs

The Ministry of the Wall and Settlement Affairs (MoWSA) has the following objectives:
Promote steadfastness of citizens affected by the Separation Wall in cooperation with other ministries and agencies through:
• Developing and implementing development projects west of the Wall.
• Contributing to providing basic needs of citizens, including implementation of social aid programs. Resist Wall construction and settlement activity through:
• Lobbying Arab and international support, emphasising relevant international resolutions.
• Launching media and political activities that highlight the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Wall and to reaffirm UN resolutions regarding illegal settlements.
• Providing necessary support to popular committees in their peaceful resistance against the Wall.
• Coordinating the national effort, including between official bodies and civil society organizations, to document changes on the ground and to provide up-to-date and accurate data on Israeli violations.

Ministry of Detainees’ Affairs

The Ministry of Detainees’ Affairs (MoDA) has the following objectives:

Work towards releasing all prisoners and detainees from Israeli prisons through:
• Lobbying Arab and international support for prisoners and publicizing their predicament.
• Ensure that the issue of prisoners remains at the top of Government’s policy agenda and a core issue in negotiations with Israel.
• Provide support and legal aid to prisoners.

Secure a decent standard of living for prisoners and care for their children and families through:
• Enhancing health care, social and financial services delivered to prisoners’ families.
• Providing higher education opportunities and offering grants to prisoners and their families.
• Enabling prisoners to gain employment in governmental functions.
• Working with relevant organizations to provide vocational and technical training to help released prisoners compete in the labour market.
• Developing a program to launch SMEs managed by released prisoners.

Improve MoDA service delivery through:
• Upgrading MoDA’s administrative, financial and oversight systems.
• Building the capacity of staff, developing procedures manuals, and providing essential infrastructure.

Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs

In coordination and cooperation with relevant PNA ministries and governmental agencies, the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs (MoJA) has the following objectives:

Preserve the Arab identity of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Palestinian people and prevent attempts to alter its demographic character and cultural landmarks through:
• Lobbying Arab and international support for Jerusalem.
• Maintaining Jerusalem as a top priority on the Government’s agenda and highlighting its predicament in the media.
• Launching a programs to promote the steadfastness of Jerusalemites, including:
    - Strengthen Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem, providing financial support to help them deliver services to citizens.
    - Provide necessary legal support for Jerusalem inhabitants to enable them confront Israeli policies and measures, including house demolitions and withdrawal of ID cards.
    - Provide necessary engineering expertise to prepare and submit structural plans for houses under threat of demolition and for zoning of unclassified land to convert them into residential areas.
    - Provide urgent aid to evicted families.
    - Develop programs to address drug addiction and consolidate social cohesion in the city.
    - Provide support to housing projects in Jerusalem.
    - Provide, in cooperation with relevant PNA institutions, support to secure basic educational needs, including construction of classrooms, improvement of the educational environment, and provision of adequate income for teachers
    - Provide support to the commercial and tourism sectors in Jerusalem by offering loan facilities, restoring closed commercial premises and developing a program to provide funds for SMEs.

Palestinian Pension Agency

The Palestinian Pension Agency (PPA) has the following objectives:

Protect retirement funds through:
• Collecting pension contribution arrears.
• Enhancing pension fund management techniques.
• Developing and enforcing a sustainable law on retirement.

Increase functional effectiveness and efficiency through:
• Developing the PPA’s organizational structure, working methods and capacity of its staff.

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