Ramallah – Ma’an – During its weekly cabinet meeting the Palestinian Authority announced it would provide humanitarian aid for the victims of the Haiti earthquake last week, and form a committee to follow up on its distribution.
In its Monday evening meeting the cabinet expressed its condolences for those who lost relatives in Haiti and declared the solidarity of the Palestinian people with the people of Haiti. It was further declared that the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was mandated to monitor the situation of the Palestinian community in Haiti and to provide humanitarian relief to the devastated country. Settlements and Jerusalem
Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called on the Quartet to not recognize Israeli preconditions imposed on illegal settlement expansion, exemplified in continued construction throughout the occupied Palestinian territories as a means to resume negotiations swiftly, he said.
Cabinet members further called on the Obama administration and the international community to pressure Israel into halting its attempts at Judaizing Jerusalem through continued settlement construction in occupied East Jerusalem and expressed hope that the case for Jerusalem will be brought before the UN on 27 January 2010.
Members condemned statements made by an Israeli official considering Palestinians as a demographic threat and said that Israeli policies were geared towards expelling Palestinians from Jerusalem, in turn preventing them from establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. National boycott of settlement goods
The launching of the National Dignity Fund last week by the PA to clear the Palestinian market of settlement goods was deemed an act of self-determination, and applauded by the cabinet. Amnesty and the Gaza blockade
A recent Amnesty International report describing the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip as collective punishment under international law and suffocating the Palestinian population was praised by the cabinet. Palestine Culture Day
It was declared that 13 March would be considered Palestinian Culture Day, celebrated on the birthday of Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. A committee is to be established including ministers and cultural figureheads to implement and monitor a budget for the celebrations within that of the Ministry of Culture. International donors
Members of the PA cabinet in Ramallah welcomed the willingness of major donor countries to increase the transfer of assistance to the PA following a meeting in Brussels last week. The PA cabinet had asked all donors to fulfill their financial pledges given that the PA is facing financial difficulty, members said.