Palestine Central Council Postpones Establishment of State
Mandates Executive Commitee to take Measures and Report by 15 November

The Palestine Central Council (PCC), which is the highest decision making body in the absence of the Palestine National Council (PNC), met in Gaza from 9-10 September 2000 to consider the end of the five-year interim period and the 13 September 2000 extension agreed upon by both parties in the Sharm Al Sheikh Memorandum of 4 September 1999, as well as the question of the establishment of the Palestinian State, with the Holy City of Jerusalem as its capital.

The Palestinian side has fulfilled all of its obligations stemming from the agreements signed, including the Sharm Al Sheikh Memorandum, and has sincerely and responsibly engaged in the final status negotiations on the questions of Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements and other issues.

In this context, the Palestine Central Council emphasized that the end of the five-year interim period does not free the Israeli side from its obligations, and called upon the co-sponsors of the peace process and the international community to hold the Israeli side to fulfilling its outstanding and long-overdue obligations, including the 3rd redeployment of Israeli forces, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the return of Palestinian displaced persons.

Upon conclusion of its meeting, the Central Council issued an official statement regarding the discussions and decisions made. In specific, with regard to the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital, the Central Council reaffirmed:

"The absolute right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with the Holy City of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, and to establish sovereignty on their land based on the natural and historic right of our people to their state, and in accordance with General Assembly resolution 181,which provided for the creation of two states in Palestine within its mandated borders, and consistent with the declaration of independence of 15 November 1988."

Further, the Central Council mandated "the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Presidency of the National Council and the Legislative Council, to take all necessary measures to establish the State of Palestine and to extend its sovereignty on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with the Holy City of Jerusalem as its capital in the coming period, including issuing a constitutional declaration, adopting laws for the general election for the presidency and the Palestinian parliament, and submitting an application for membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations. The Council deems it a necessity for the Executive Committee to submit a detailed report concerning these steps to the Central Council in a special session before the date of 15 November 2000, the day of the declaration of national independence adopted in the 19th Session (of the PNC) in 1988 in Algeria."