FES-PNGO Conference: “Strengthening the Civil Society’s Role for Palestinian Unity against the Internal Political Division”

On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), in cooperation with its partner Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO), organized a conference about “Strengthening the Civil Society’s Role for Palestinian Unity against the Internal Political Division”. The conference was attended by academics, representatives of civil society organizations and researchers.

The conference examined the costs of the more than ten year-long political split. Aspects of identity, democratic processes, personal freedom and human rights, as well as the impact on the basic needs of the people in the Gaza Strip were discussed.

Ms. Hidaya Shamoun moderated the first session of two workshop sessions. Mr. Issam Younis, director of the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, spoke about the risks of the split towards the Palestinian identity and the social fabric in the Palestinian Territories. The input of Mr. Mohsen Abu Ramadan, director of the Arab Center for Agricultural Development, focused on the impact of the split on providing the crucial life needs. Finally, the political analyst, Mr. Talal Okal, commented the two speakers’ contributions.

During the second session, moderated by Mr. Ahmad Ashour, Mr. Ha Hamdy Shaqura, vice director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, spoke about the impacts of the political split on the reality of freedom of expression. The political scientist, Prof. Dr. Dr. Mukhaimer Abu Sa’da, gave his contribution about the costs of the split on the democratic processes in Palestine. Finally, Mrs. Andaleeb Adwan gave her comments on the previous speakers.

A lively discussion arose between the speakers and the numerous guests from civil society, representatives of professional associations and journalists. The discussion focused on the role of civil society organizations in the ending of the Palestinian division. The civil society organizations were asked to take a more active role towards the political parties. The conference was highly covered by the media.

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