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Palestinian National Elections Before September, Says PLO Executive Committee

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RAMALLAH, February 12, 2011 (WAFA) – The PLO Executive Committee decided in its meeting held in Ramallah on Saturday to hold presidential and legislative no later than September, according to a statement read by its secretary Yaser Abed Rabbo at the conclusion of its meeting.

It called for unity of the Palestinian people in order to end the division.

The statement also discussed the latest developments in Egypt.

Following is the full official text of the statement:

The Palestinian People and leadership support the Egyptian people and their collective decision to achieve change and democracy. Egypt is a great country and has been a principal partner and supporter of the Palestinian people throughout its just struggle to achieve freedom and independence. We have no doubt Egypt will remain a key player in the region and the world and will maintain its pivotal role as a key supporter of the Palestinian people and its just cause.

Palestinians wish security, stability and prosperity for Egypt. In these historic moments, the Palestinian people and leadership wish to convey their sincere wishes that Egypt maintains its central role in the region and the world. This is key to the Palestinian national interest and is in the benefit of regional and international peace and security.

The peoples of the region are capable of addressing their issues and achieving their goals and rights through unity, peaceful actions, and responsibility.

In this regard, we reiterate that national unity remains a central goal for the Palestinian leadership as it is key to restoring our internal strength and achieving our national aspirations. We join the youth, who demonstrated in solidarity with Egypt overnight, in demanding an end to the internal Palestinian division. And we promise our people to take all actions that would contribute to ending this dangerous division.

The Palestinian leadership also affirms that it is preparing for Presidential and Legislative elections at a date no later than next September. In this context, we call upon all parties to set aside their reservations and disagreements. Let us work together to hold elections and uphold the will of the Palestinian people. As for differences and disagreements, whether in political or security matters, we believe that these issues could be resolved by the coming elected Legislative Council.

The world must study the events and momentum in the region carefully and draw the correct conclusions: Supporting peoples’ universal human rights is not a position that can be adopted selectively. Rather, it is the only moral position any democracy should take.

Gone are the days where peoples' aspirations and rights could be suppressed and oppressed with impunity. At this historic crossroad, Israel must understand that rules of the game have changed irreversibly.  The Israeli government must now realize that it will no longer be possible to enjoy immunity while continuing to defy international law and the international consensus that now calls for the establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international law.

In this regard, we call on the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to translate his address last night about the power of human dignity and universal rights into actions. It is unacceptable for the Palestinian people to remain excluded from the inspiration and force your Excellency spoke of. Here too, the arch of history must be bent towards justice.

The Palestinian people know first-hand that the moral force of human dignity and justice are unstoppable. No amount of force, no matter how brute, can stand in its way or block its rightful path. A people's determination to achieve justice should only be supported; and Palestinians are not and will not be the exception.

In this regard, we invite the international community to take the only acceptable and moral position towards the just aspirations of the Palestinian people for freedom and self-determination. The Palestinian leadership calls on the international community to translate its supportive positions towards the legitimate aspirations of peoples. There is a draft resolution on Israel's continued illegal settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, now under consideration by the United Nations Security Council. It provides the Permanent Members of the Security Council with a golden opportunity to prove the credibility and comprehensive nature of their positions towards freedom. This draft resolution reflects the collective will of the majority of the world's peoples. It is unacceptable to stand against this will.

For over six decades now, the Palestinian people have been speaking, working, sacrificing, and endeavoring to achieve freedom from a brutal foreign occupation. It is time for the world to hear Palestine’s call for freedom. Now is the time for Palestine's freedom.

M.A.

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