Conference in Gaza: “Changing of Palestinian Political Approaches”
On Wednesday, 18 April 2018, Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation (FES), in cooperation with its partner Palestinian Planning Center (PPC), organized a one-day conference entitled “Changing of Palestinian Political Approaches”. The Conference took place at Mathaf Hall in Gaza City.
The conference was held in two sessions; whereas in the first session the official political positions were discussed, within the second session the positions by distinguished researchers and academics were pointed out. In the first session, Dr. Ahmed Al-Majdalani, a member of the PLO-Executive Committee, explained the challenges the Palestinian issue is currently facing, especially concerning the US policy and its decisions regarding East Jerusalem. Mr. Majdalani highlighted the importance for the Palestinian leadership to adopt only the Arab Peace Initiative as “path for peace”, and to refuse the American vision, known as the “deal of the century”. Dr. Atef Abuseif, spook person of the Fatah Movement, said that the Palestinian division must be ended, and the legal status of Palestine should be developed into a full member state of the UN. Furthermore, the Palestinian National Council should be held on the announced date at the end of April to complete the process of developing and empowering the Palestinian political tools in order to face the unjust Israeli and US policies towards the Palestinian issue. Dr. Ahmed Saleh opposed the convening of the Palestinian National Council without the participation of all Palestinian factions, and said that Hamas, after the announcement of its new political document last year, has been working strongly on the non-violence resistance, like most other Palestinian factions. He agreed with his counterpart speakers, that the Palestinians should create their own policies. The speakers from the academic researcher’s spectrum, Dr. Ibrahim Abrach, Dr. Abdul Majeed Sweelem from Ramallah, and Dr. Mazen Al-Ajlah agreed that there would be no possibility of a unified political agenda without ending the Palestinian political division, stressing that the holding of the Palestinian National Council would renew the Palestinian legitimacy and strengthen the Palestinian political position towards Israel and regional powers.
The conference was attended by a large number of researchers, academics, representatives of civil society organizations and journalists. There was an in-depth and vivid discussion about the consequences of holding the Palestinian National Council, which was held last time more than two decades ago.