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On civil disobedience
Neve Gordon, The Palestine Chronicle

Gaza families demand answers
Ma'an News

Goldstone and the 'peace process'
George Giacaman,

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Home > Documents & Reports > Politics & Democracy

The impact of two years of blockade
Gaza: Killed holding a white flag
Children and education in Gaza

Text of Mahmoud Abbas's speech to UN General Assembly on Palestinian Statehood

Palestine comes today to the General Assembly because it believes in peace and because its people, as proven in past days, are in desperate need of it. Palestine comes today to this prestigious international forum, representative and protector of international legitimacy, reaffirming our conviction that the international community now stands before the last chance to save the two-State solution. 

The Palestine Liberation Organization, the future State of Palestine, and the question of popular representation

A Legal Opinion on The Palestine Liberation Organization, the future State of Palestine, and the question of popular representation. 

Amnesty International says U.S. Veto of UNSC Resolution Gives "Green Light" to Israel to Expand Illegal Settlements

Amnesty International Friday condemned the United States' veto of a United Nations Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are illegal and demanding that Israel cease all settlement activities in the OPT, including East Jerusalem. The other 14 members of the UN Security Council voted in favour of Resolution S/2011/24, which was proposed by Lebanon and co-sponsored by some 120 countries. 

Largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank

Since it occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war, Israel has set up more than 130 settlements in the territory excluding annexed East Jerusalem. They now have more than 300,000 residents.

According to Interior Ministry figures, the majority of Jewish settlers live in eight large settlements which Israel wants to annex in any lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians. 

FAQ on Settlements

On September 26, 2010, Israel refused to extend a partial settlement freeze, bringing to a halt the most recent round of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. In the leadup to the critical deadline and in hopes of avoiding a premature end to the peace talks, world leaders from President Obama to the European Union's Foreign Ministers urged Israel to continue the settlement freeze. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignored these calls and allowed the partial settlement freeze to expire. The decision was met with mass celebrations by the Israeli settler community across the West Bank.

2009 settlement report says population up 40 fold

The number of Israelis living in illegal West Bank settlements increased more than 40 times between 1972 and 2009, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

By comparison, the number of Israelis living in Israel and the occupied Syrian Golan has doubled during the same period, PCBS' statistics revealed. 

The First Anniversary of Israeli Offensive against the Gaza Strip

27 December 2009, marks the first anniversary of Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip. The unlawful blockade imposed by Israel continues, and is in its Fourth year , producing further deterioration of the entire civilian population situation since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead against the territory on 27 December 2008, and maintained its military attack for 22 days. 

Between political statements and reality on the ground: Eighteen months since the Annapolis Conference

This report provides the AIC's analysis of the Annapolis process 18 months after it took place. Through our analyses we can affirm that in spite of the peace conferences, the Roadmap, and speeches, the Israeli Government has not fulfilled its commitments and the settlement project continues to rapidly increase, presenting one of the major obstacles to peace. The settlement issue is the reason for the big question mark on the future direction of the peace process. 

The Israeli state budget and the needs of Arab citizens

An analysis of the 2009-2010 State Budget proposal and what has been allotted to the Arab citizens in Israel has revealed that although this group comprises 19% of the total population they will receive less than 5% of the governmental development funds and less than 6% of the salary budget allotted to government employees. A breakdown of the budgets of most ministries shows that the percentages of funds allotted to Arabs are consistently and proportionately lower than the population. 

Hamas: Ideological rigidity and political flexibility

The report attempts to inject some gray areas into an issue that is often framed only in black and white terms. In a unique approach, the authors do not ask us to necessarily change our conclusions about the value of such engagement. Instead, they invite us to reevaluate our assumptions by providing a new prism through which to analyze Hamas. 

Nurturing instability: Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps

Until the Arab-Israeli conflict is resolved, a comprehensive approach is required that clarifies the Palestinians' status, formally excludes their permanent settlement in Lebanon, significantly improves their living conditions and, through better Lebanese-Palestinian and inter-Palestinian coordination, enhances camp management. 

Operation "Cast lead": news control as a military objective

Reporters Without Borders maintains that the closing of the Gaza Strip to the press constituted a serious and unacceptable violation of press freedom. On this too, the organisation strongly urges the United Nations to adopt a resolution immediately calling on Israel to stop using such coercive methods to control news. 

Middle East Quartet: a progress report

The humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) continues (see 'The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion'). Its population of 3.7 million people, 52 per cent of whom are children, struggle for their basic needs. Palestinian women, children, and men are increasingly dependent on aid as their livelihoods are destroyed. The only sustainable solution to the crisis is a comprehensive peace settlement between Israelis and Palestinians based on international law. 

Delivering security to the Palestinian people

The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF) and Shams Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Participation on 12 March 2008 organised the first Forum 'Delivering Security to the People - Challenges to Palestinian Security Sector Governance' in Ramallah. The Forum is a new project by DCAF and Shams to enhance the Palestinian dialogue on security sector reform and to support a sustainable reform process based on the security needs of the Palestinian citizens. 

The death of the settlement freeze: 4 months since Annapolis

Despite [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert's announcement of a "settlement freeze", construction has been continuing in the settlements, East Jerusalem and the outposts, even after Annapolis. It is not only that existing construction has continued, but new plans have been promoted, construction tenders published and projects approved for marketing. 

Public perceptions toward liberal values in Palestine

How do Palestinian citizens see their individual future and the future of their national state still in the making? Do they appreciate democracy and equal rights for minorities or do we have to face tendencies in favour of an authoritarian state with a high inclination to ignore or simply deny the rights of women, religious or ethnic minorities? Starting from these and similar questions, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, commissioned an opinion poll on "Liberal Values in the Palestinian Society". 

Defending Palestinian prisoners: a report on the status of defence lawyers in Israeli courts

Lawyers who represent Palestinians in Israeli military and civil courts face obstacles that systematically erode the right of Palestinian detainees to legal representation. Defense attorneys must contend with military orders, Israeli laws and prison procedures that curtail their ability to provide adequate counsel to their clients. This report describes how, from the moment of detention through the process of appeal, lawyers are prevented from giving adequate counsel to Palestinian defendants. 

Report on Israeli settlement in the occupied territories: Can Israel accept the price of peace?

On the face of it Israel's leadership has come a long way during forty years of occupation. In the aftermath of its 1967 victory, successive Israeli governments adopted a policy of "deciding not to decide" the future of the conquered West Bank and Gaza Strip. Under government protection, the system of settlements was set in motion. 

The One State Declaration

For decades, efforts to bring about a two-state solution in historic Palestine have failed to provide justice and peace for the Palestinian and Israeli Jewish peoples, or to offer a genuine process leading towards them. The two-state solution ignores the physical and political realities on the ground, and presumes a false parity in power and moral claims between a colonized and occupied people on the one hand and a colonizing state and military occupier on the other. 

Speech by President Mahmoud Abbas at Annapolis Conference

Allow me, Mr. President, to thank you in my capacity as Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole representative of the Palestinian people, and on behalf of the Palestinian people, for inviting us to this international conference. 

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