ICHR welcomes positive progress in reconciliation talks and calls on parties to give particular attention to human rights



ICHR welcomes positive progress in reconciliation talks and calls on parties to give particular attention to human rights

The Independent Commission for Human Rights( ICHR) has  welcomed  the  emanating  news from the Egyptian capital  and the official statements of  Palestinian presidency and Hamas  of  dissolving  the latter’s  governing body (Administrative Committee) in the Gaza Strip. ICHR considers this a positive step towards reconciliation and   ending of the political divide which has had a heavy toll on the Palestinian people since 2007. The commission appreciates the Egyptian efforts in sponsoring the Palestinian dialogue and calls on its continuation till concluding a comprehensive agreement that would settle all standing differences and bring back unity to homeland.

The commission stresses, on this occasion, the need to give priority to human rights issues in terms of addressing them and giving utmost attention to citizens’ rights which have been harmed as a result of the divide. In this context, the commission would like to highlight the following issues and priorities

1. The national Consensus Government should assume full responsibility in the Gaza Strip and begin handling of urgent issues of the Gaza Strip citizens including water, electricity, sewage and other basic services. No party should impede these efforts.

2. All recent measures, including salary cuts of Gaza Strip employees and stipends of prisoners and forced collective early retirement of employees, should be stopped. Medical referrals should also be resumed.

3. All detainees, arrested against political divide, should be released. In addition, files of those convicted and in particular those sentenced in military courts should be reconsidered.

4. A fair settlement should be found for employees appointed after the political divide to ensure smooth course of work in government institutions and service institutions in particular. Their wages, retirement and other rights,guaranteed by laws, should not be prejudiced.

5.  All laws and decisions restricting freedom of work of charitable, non-profit societies, organizations and establishments should be annulled.

6.  All Gaza Strip residents who have been deprived of getting passports should be allowed to exercise this basic right.

7. The tasks of the Presidential  Committee,  set up to develop  the judiciary, should be widened and should include presenting a conception  of a unified judiciary for the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

8. Preparations should start for holding free legislative and presidential elections, as soon as possible, and    a conducive environment should be created to ensure   their success and integrity.

9. Societal reconciliation should be concluded and all victims of 2007 events should be repatriated.

The commission calls for speed up of   these measures to restore internal confidence and give hope to the people who have lost faith in any news about reconciliation. It also calls for halt of   all continuing violations which seriously affect wide segments of the population. It also calls on the international community to mount pressure on the Israeli occupation government to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip and open the border crossings to allow free passage for people and flow of goods.