We stand here today, as a women’s movement and as civil society, to voice our message that a national dialogue must begin. We need a dialogue that unites Palestinians from every spectrum, with civil society and youth and women’s movements to preserve the Palestinian national project. Our national project is threatened with dangers and challenges due to the lack of a political horizon and the escalating crimes of the Israeli occupation – its summary executions of our youth and its ongoing racist plans to uproot us. Such dangers and challenges necessitate that we must unite all of our forces and efforts to confront this threat to the fate of our people and its national cause.
This is why we are here today. This gathering, which is broadly supported by our people, seeks to achieve Palestinian national reconciliation through the full and immediate implementation of the Prisoners’ Document (for national conciliation), and the Cairo Agreement, according to the Shati’ Statement and all of its stipulations. This includes setting a date for presidential, legislative and Palestinian National Council (PNC) elections.
We reaffirm that our priority is first regaining national unity as a basis for continuing the battle to end the occupation; for our quest for achieving a social contract based on the concept of citizenry; for endorsing women’s rights to political participation; for fully ending all measures and practices that harm the Palestinian social fabric including police summonses and political arrests and to take responsibility for ending these measures, the repercussions of which threaten to shatter our national front and counteract its path towards freedom and independence.
We also reaffirm that the interests of the homeland and achieving true national unity that ends all division-based disputes, must come first. Our civil and security institutions must be united and the democratic process and political pluralism in Palestinian society must be safeguarded through democratic transition and through the participation of all citizens in the election process.
As women, we appeal to the media to adopt a national and responsible discourse which calls for national unity. We also reaffirm the role of the local media in promoting values of tolerance, freedom of opinion and expression and the denunciation of fragmentation, discrimination and factionalism.
As women, we call for a national dialogue which includes all political factions, movements and social forces and reaffirm our participation as women, comprising 45% of national reconciliation committees. We call for the formulation of an operational framework for the articles of the Cairo Agreement and the Shati’ Statement that is binding and confined to a declared timeframe.
It is time this political division ends…It is time all our efforts come together to achieve unity and to continue our path towards freedom and independence, to establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and to reiterate our people’s right to self-determination.