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Palestinian Cabinet vows to investigate HRW report findings

Oct. 25, 2018 1:49 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 25, 2018 3:52 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, reviewed, during its weekly meeting on Wednesday, the latest Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, regarding the situation of human rights in Palestine, and vowed to investigate its findings and recommendations in cooperation with all related parties and authorities.

In a statement issued following the meeting, the cabinet approved the formation of a ministerial committee to lead discussions related to the Social Security Law, welcomed the visit of the Chinese Vice-President and the meetings of the joint Palestinian-Turkish ministerial committee.

During the meeting, Hamdallah stated that "The State of Palestine, the democratic state, the state of law and institution-building, and the responsible member in the international community, is committed to its obligations and is making great efforts to comply with the standards of international human rights."

"The State of Palestine positively considers that the law enforcement agencies within the State must respect and protect human rights, in accordance with our beliefs in the value of human beings and our responsibility for preserving the human dignity."

Hamdallah added that in addition to complying with the implementation of the Declaration of Independence, the provisions of the Palestinian Basic Law and our international obligations arising from our commitment towards international conventions related to human rights that the State of Palestine signed including the Convention against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Cabinet stressed that the State of Palestine is exerting all possible efforts in this regard. The latest of which is the adoption of the reference document for the establishment of the national preventive mechanism for the prevention of torture on October 16, 2018. This comes as part of the commitment of the State of Palestine towards the signing of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Torture, ratified by President Mahmoud Abbas on December 28, 2017.

During the meeting, the Cabinet confirmed that the State of Palestine will respond to the HRW report and will continue to work hard to harmonize with the international standards set out in the international conventions it agreed on and signed, noting the formation of specialized investigation committees to investigate any incidents that exceed the law.

Hamdallah said that "The State of Palestine will continue its efforts to promote the principles of responsibility and accountability for the protection of Palestinian human rights. We will take immediate measures to refute all facts and cases in the report in details through the concerned committees."

The Cabinet expressed its full support to the 30th session of the Palestinian Central Council, to be held later this month. The Cabinet also renewed its support to the Palestinian leadership through announcing its readiness and commitment towards the outcomes of this session to unify all efforts in fighting the current dangerous political stage.

It rejected the US State Department decision to merge its Consulate General in Jerusalem with its new embassy in Occupied Jerusalem.

It confirmed that this decision comes as part of the so-called "Nation State Law" to integrate the principle of the two states into one state based on an Apartheid regime aiming at annexing East Jerusalem, which is still under the longest illegal occupation in modern history.

The Cabinet also stressed that despite all the illegal violations and obstacles imposed by Israel, the Occupying Power, which threatens the national Palestinian movement and the social Palestinian fabric, the State of Palestine is and has always been fully committed to the periodic reports of the specialized international treaty committees and is quickly developing its national legislation to comply with its international obligations.

It discussed the agreement signed in Amman about a month ago between the National Jordanian Electric Power Company and the Jerusalem District Electricity Company under the auspices of PM Hamdallah to expand and increase the amount of energy supplied from Jordan to feed the Jericho and Jordan Valley districts.

The Cabinet explored the memorandum of understanding signed between the Palestinian General Personnel Council and the Latin American Group for Public Administration, which aims at exchanging both Palestinian and Latin American experiences in the fields of public administration and strengthening relations between Palestine and Latin American countries.

It hailed the meetings of the joint Palestinian- Turkish ministerial committee to be held in Ankara on Thursday, during which seven agreements and memorandums of understanding are approved to be signed. These agreements aim at enhancing joint cooperation between both countries in various fields, including enhancing investments, trade, social, economic, agricultural and environmental cooperation, as well as cooperation in water, energy, information technology, security and crime control, education and higher education, cultural exchange, services and social protection sectors.

It further welcomed launching the Public Financial Management Improvement Project through the World Bank, the European Union and Denmark with a value of $3.5 million, which aims at developing the financial and administrative capabilities of the institutions of the State of Palestine in light of the obstacles the Palestinian economy faces.

This project also aims at assisting in the implementation of economic policies and important public budgets. The Cabinet expressed its gratitude for the support of the World Bank, the European Union and the Kingdom of Denmark for the implementation of this project.

The cabinet applauded the Ministry of National Economy for launching a project to establish Technology and Innovation Support Centers in Palestinian universities in implementation of the agreement signed by the Ministry and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to promote a culture of creativity, excellence, innovation and motivation for scientific research.

This also comes in line with the National Policy Agenda (2017-2022) to create a national culture of innovations and inventions towards scientific research, it explained.

It reiterated its commitment to commencing the Social Security Law as approved by next month. The Cabinet approved the formation of a ministerial committee to lead discussions and consultations related to the Social Security Law.

The cabinet also approved the accession of the State of Palestine to the Arab Customs Cooperation Agreement within the framework of the Arab League, which aims at enhancing the active participation of the State of Palestine in greater Arab Free Trade Area and the Arab Customs Union.

It criticized the latest Israeli decision to freeze the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar village temporarily, and called on the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the illegal Israeli violations against the Palestinian citizens and to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.

It reviewed the meeting of Hamdallah with the Chinese Vice President Wang Qin Chan held in Ramallah yesterday, and expressed its gratitude to China for its ongoing support to the Palestinian issue and the two-state solution and UNRWA.

Hamdallah called upon China to play a more active role in the political process, support the peace initiative of President Abbas to hold an international peace conference and urged China to be a key sponsor for it.

"We urge China to pressure Israel to stop its violations and to abide by international laws and resolutions."
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