Palestine Central Council Meets on 2-3 February 2000

The Realization of the Declaration of Independent Palestine Must Take Place in 2000 

            The Palestine Central Council (PCC) of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) held a normal session in Gaza from 2 to 3 February 2000.  Mr. Salim Zanoun, Speaker of the Palestine National Council (PNC), presided over the meeting, which was convened in the presence of President Arafat. 

            The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) attended the session after an extended period of boycotting such meetings, as did the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), which resumed its participation in meetings of the Council during the Councils last session.  As such, all factions of the PLO participated in the session, with the exception of the Popular Front-General Command and Al-Saiqa.  In addition, a delegation from Islamic Jihad and the Party of Al-Khalas Al-Islami participated as observers. 

            The participants, who totaled a record 112 out of 127 members, intensively discussed the political situation; negotiations on the transitional period and the final settlement; the realization of the declaration of Independent Palestine; reports of the Committees; the improvement of PLO institutions; and the internal Palestinian situation.  These issues were all discussed and debated following the presentation by the Executive Committee of its reports. 

            At the end of the session, the PCC unanimously adopted a comprehensive statement, which dealt with all of the above-mentioned issues.  In that statement, the Council reaffirmed the natural right of the Palestinian people to its independent State Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 1947 and in realization of the Declaration of Independence of 1988 by the PNC.  The Council affirmed the necessity of the realization of the sovereignty of the State of Palestine in this year. 

The Council also adopted clear positions on the rights of the Palestine refugees and the need for full Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem.  Further, the Council adopted a clear position on the illegal Israeli settlements and, in this regard, called for the resumption of the Conference of the High Contracting Parties to the 4th Geneva Convention, which was convened in July of 1999, to bring an end to the Israeli violations of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. 

            The Council dealt with internal Palestinian matters and affirmed that democracy and the principle of separation of powers is the choice of the Palestinian people.  It called on the executive committee and the Palestinian National Authority to enhance the democratic life, political pluralism, the independence of the judiciary, transparency and responsibility, rule of law, respect of citizens freedoms and the conduct of the municipal elections. 

            In addition to the above, and with the aim of ensuring the participation of all political forces and factions in the negotiation process, the Council decided to request the Executive Committee to establish a national Committee to supervise the final settlement negotiations.