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An Open Letter to the International Community

This open letter was drafted by Palthink for Strategic Studies and was signed by 52 Palestinian civil society organization

An Open Letter to the International Community from Palestinian civil society

Members of the International Community who have supported the Palestinian struggle for autonomy and self-determination now hold the key to the reunification of Palestine and the national healing process engaged with the formation in 2014 of a Palestinian Consensus Government.

Responding to civil society demands and rejecting the “West Bank First” approach advocated by some, the Palestinian Consensus Government (PCG) reversed an earlier decision to host municipal elections only in the West Bank Territories. Saying, “Our objective is to build unity and promote stability and prosperity for all Palestinians”, the government decreed that municipal elections would be held on Saturday October 8, 2016 for all 416 Palestinian municipal councils in Gaza and in the West Bank.

With the formation in 2014 of the Palestinian Consensus Government and recognition of Palestinian state sovereignty by the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2015, the process of reconstruction for Palestinian civil society and national reconciliation is well underway. The next step will be to elect and empower municipal governments.

It has been 10 years since the divisive events of 2006 which led to the suspension of the democracy. Thus, it will be the first opportunity in 10 years for young people to vote in a democratic process and in realizing on of their basic right.

The 2016 municipal elections are a fundamental first step toward rebuilding Palestine’s institutions which will improve fundamentally the humanitarian and developmental services for the people of Palestine   and we request the support and understanding of our friends and longtime partners. If this is a first step in empowering a new generation of decision makers, it is also a necessary step in reconstituting the Palestinian Legislative Council and presidential  legislative forum for debating and reconciling national interests.

We call upon the international community to take a clear position in support of the municipal elections and to express its readiness to cooperate with elected municipal authorities. Municipal authorities are the first provider of services to the Palestinian people and municipal empowerment is absolutely essential to improving humanitarian and developmental services to the Palestinian people. It is also a matter of validating the Western narrative in support of democracy for Palestine.

Signatories:

# Name Institution / Organization
1. Iyad Abu Hjayer The Palestinian Center for Democracy and Conflict Resolution -PCDCR
2. Wafa Abo Gosh Palestinian Planning Center – PLO
3. Muhsin Abo Ramadan Dr. Haider Abdel Shafi Center for Culture and Development – HCCD
4. ACAD Arab Center for Agricultural Development
5. Dr. Ayed Yaghi Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)
6. HASSAN H WALLI GENRAL DIRECTOR OF IDPs League
7. Hassan Abdo Political researcher
8. Aladdin Salama Al Khaledin Charity  Association
9. Yousri Darwish General Union of Cultural Centers
10. Bahjat Alhelou Independent Commission for Human Rights
11. Eng. Imad Falougi Adam center for dialogue of civilizations
12. Sawsan Yousef Palestinian working woman society for development
13. Nahed R. Eid Effects for consultation and development
14. Aref Jaffal Arab World Democracy & Electoral Monitor (AL Marsad)
15. Omar Shaban Palthink for Strategic Studies
16. Talal Abu Rokbeh Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies
17. Osama Mortaga Palestinian national association for youth (PNAY)
18. Ali AbuShahla AA Consulting Engineers
19. Mohamed Hijazi Writer & Political research
20. Ashraf Okeh Freedom  forum  Palestine
21. Maher Issa CIVITAS Institute
22. Aya Sleem Graduates Department  – Ummah University
23. Hosam abo naser Alquds Home
24. Saeed Jalal Shaat Fateh Youth Organisation
25. Raid M. Helles Researcher and writer on economic affairs
26. ABEDALKARIM ALMADHOUN University of Palestine
27. Wafaa Abed Alrahman Filastiniyat
28. Nadim Qandil REFORM
29. Mohamed Al Nahawi Local Association For Social Services‎
30. Hanan Siam Palestinian Family Development Association
31. Dr. Ibrahem Moammer National Society for Democracy and Law
32. Mazen Hamada AlAzhar University Gaza
33. Dr. Kamal Kuddih Ghad Moshreq Association
34. Hegazi M. Karashalli Adviser
35. Dr. Nahed Zaqout Abdullah Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation
36. CWLRC Center for Women’s Legal Researches and Consulting
37. Saed Al Agad Political researcher
38. Sami Albreem Psychology
39. Saleh Anbar Translator
40. Mahmoud Ghazal Journalist
41. Hani Shehada Journalist
42. Hussain Hjammad Human Rights Activist
43. Mohammed A. Alfarra PalThink for Strategic Studies
44. Ranin Ziara PalThink for Strategic Studies
45. IDS Institute for development studies
46. Mohammed Dawoud Al-Aqsa University
47. Mousa Rimawi Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms-MADA
48. Hatem Abu Taha United Cultural and Social Society
49. Mohammed Shaat University of Palestine
50. Ihsan  Almasri PalThink for Strategic Studies
51. Mohammed  Al Tatari NGO
52. Salma Elzaneen Family Development Association
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