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Bulletin mensuel de la DDP - Vol. XXIX, No.1 - (janvier 2006) - Publié par la Division des droits palestiniens Français

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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 January 2006


January 2006

Volume XXIX, Bulletin No. 1



Bulletin
on action by the United Nations system and
intergovernmental organizations
relevant to the question of Palestine


Contents
Page
I.
Secretary-General deeply saddened by Tel Aviv suicide bombing
1
II.
Secretary-General issues message to Palestinian people on PLC elections
1
III.
Quartet congratulates Palestinian people on PLC elections
3
IV.
Quartet meets to discuss PLC election results
3
V.
Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs briefs Security Council on situation in Middle East, including Palestinian question
4




The Bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf, or at:
http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_bltn.htm.
4




I. SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEPLY SADDENED BY TEL AVIV
SUICIDE BOMBING

The following statement was issued by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 19 January 2006 (SG/SM/10308):

The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the news of today’s suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, in which a number of innocent civilians were wounded. No cause can justify deliberate acts designed to kill or maim civilians. The Secretary-General sends his deepest condolences to those who have been injured, and to the Government and people of Israel.

He calls upon Palestinians and Israelis to do their utmost to maintain calm at this difficult moment. Those who ordered and carried out this attack must not be allowed to undermine democratic processes, or to derail efforts to promote peace between the parties.


II. SECRETARY-GENERAL ISSUES MESSAGE TO PALESTINIAN
PEOPLE ON PLC ELECTIONS

The following message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan was issued on 21 January 2006 (SG/SM/10312):

I have a message to the Palestinian people as they approach the legislative election on 25 January: This will be an important milestone in your long and difficult history. I hope it will set you on the path to a more peaceful future, in which you at last have your own State and can live at peace with all your neighbours.

You deserve a free, fair and peaceful election. Your electoral commission is doing outstanding work under difficult circumstances. The international community is working with the Palestinian Authority to help it to ensure law and order. We believe that, whether you live in the Gaza Strip or the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, you must be able to exercise your democratic rights.

The United Nations and the Quartet are committed to the Road Map, of which these elections are a part. We are determined to help you to achieve, by peaceful means, what you are entitled to: an end to the occupation and a viable, contiguous, democratic State of Palestine, living at peace with a secure Israel.

To achieve that goal, the Palestinian Authority must pursue the path of reform and peace. In particular, the Palestinian Authority must establish its monopoly on the use of force. This is a difficult challenge, but it must be tackled.

Your decision at the ballot box will help set the course for your future. Your vote is your decision and yours alone. It is not only your democratic right to vote, it is also your responsibility. I encourage you all to vote on 25 January. And I assure you that the United Nations will remain steadfastly committed to helping you to achieve a state of your own.


III. QUARTET CONGRATULATES PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
ON PLC ELECTIONS

The following statement was issued by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation, United States) on 26 January 2006 (SG/2103):

The Quartet consulted today on the Palestinian Legislative Council elections. It congratulates President Abbas and the Palestinian people on an electoral process that was free, fair and secure. The Quartet calls on all parties to respect the results of the election and the outcome of the Palestinian constitutional process so that it may unfold in an atmosphere of calm and security.

The Palestinian people have voted for change, but it is the view of the Quartet that their aspirations for peace and statehood, as articulated by President Abbas in his statement following the closing of polls yesterday, remain unchanged. The Quartet reiterates its view that there is a fundamental contradiction between armed group and militia activities and the building of a democratic State. A two-State solution to the conflict requires all participants in the democratic process to renounce violence and terror, accept Israel’s right to exist, and disarm, as outlined in the Road Map.


IV. QUARTET MEETS TO DISCUSS PLC ELECTION RESULTS

The following statement was issued by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation, United States) on 30 January 2006 (SG/2104):

Representatives of the Quartet – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner – met today in London to discuss the situation in the Middle East.

The Quartet congratulated the Palestinian people on an electoral process that was free, fair and secure. The Quartet believes that the Palestinian people have the right to expect that a new Government will address their aspirations for peace and Statehood, and it welcomed President Abbas’ affirmation that the Palestinian Authority is committed to the Road Map, previous agreements and obligations between the parties, and a negotiated two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is the view of the Quartet that all members of a future Palestinian Government must be committed to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map. We urge both parties to respect their existing agreements, including on movement and access.

The Quartet received updates from Quartet Special Envoy James Wolfensohn and United States Security Coordinator Lieutenant General Keith Dayton at today’s meeting. We also had the good fortune of hearing from former President Carter, who helped supervise elections a few days ago. The Quartet called on the Palestinian Authority to ensure law and order, prevent terrorist attacks and dismantle the infrastructure of terror. The Quartet acknowledged the positive role of the Palestinian Authority security forces in helping maintain order during the recent elections. It expressed its view that progress on further consolidation, accountability and reform remains an important task.

Mindful of the needs of the Palestinian people, the Quartet discussed the issue of assistance to the Palestinian Authority. First, the Quartet expressed its concern over the fiscal situation of the Palestinian Authority, and urged measures to facilitate the work of the caretaker Government to stabilize public finances, taking into consideration established fiscal accountability and reform benchmarks. Second, the Quartet concluded that it was inevitable that future assistance to any new Government would be reviewed by donors against that Government’s commitment to the principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the Road Map. The Quartet calls upon the newly elected Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) to support the formation of a Government committed to these principles, as well as the rule of law, tolerance, reform and sound fiscal management.

Both parties are reminded of their obligations under the Road Map to avoid unilateral actions which prejudice final status issues. The Quartet reiterated its view that settlement expansion must stop, reiterated its concern regarding the route of the barrier, and noted Acting Prime Minister Olmert’s recent statements that Israel will continue the process of removing unauthorized outposts.

The Quartet expressed its concern for the health of Prime Minister Sharon and its hope for his rapid recovery.

Finally, the Quartet reiterated its commitment to the principles outlined in the Road Map and previous statements, and reaffirmed its commitment to a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict, based upon United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The Quartet will remain seized of the matter and will engage key regional actors.


V. ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS
BRIEFS SECURITY COUNCIL ON SITUATION IN MIDDLE EAST,
INCLUDING PALESTINIAN QUESTION

On 31 January 2006, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Angela Kane briefed the Security Council on “The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.” The following are excerpts from her statement (S/PV.5361):



There have been dramatic developments in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory this past month, including the serious illness of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the victory, just a few days ago, of the Change and Reform list of Hamas in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections.



On 25 January, Palestinian Legislative Council elections were held throughout Gaza and the West Bank — including in East Jerusalem, after the Israeli Cabinet agreed to allow 6,300 of the approximately 120,000 eligible voters to vote in six post offices, consistent with the precedents set by the Oslo Accords and the 1996 and 2005 elections. Overall, 77 per cent of registered voters cast their votes for a new legislature.

The election was observed by approximately 20,000 national observers and 1,000 international observers, including missions from the European Union, the National Democratic Institute and the Carter Center, and Canada. Overall, the observers concluded that the campaign took place in a relatively calm atmosphere, with an absence of provocative rhetoric. Israeli authorities generally eased travel through checkpoints to facilitate freedom of movement on election day, although candidates, campaign workers and election workers were at times unable to move satisfactorily through checkpoints during the campaign period.



In accordance with the official results announced by the Central Elections Commission, the Change and Reform list of Hamas won a majority consisting of 74 seats. The Fatah list won 45 seats, with the remaining 13 seats going to smaller parties and independents.

President Abbas indicated that he would immediately begin consultations on the establishment of a new Government. Referring to the obligations and responsibilities that will fall on it, the President cited:

“Palestinian-Israeli agreements starting with the Oslo Accords and the Arab Summit resolutions and ending with the resolutions that have been agreed upon by the international community, in particular the road map as the sole framework that is being posed now for implementation.”



Let me turn now to the Quartet meeting in London. Last night, the Secretary-General met with his Quartet colleagues in London to discuss the political situation in the aftermath of the election, to address the urgent crisis of Palestinian finances and to consider the way forward on security-sector performance and reform. The Quartet was briefed by Quartet Special Envoy James Wolfensohn and United States Security Coordinator Keith Dayton. Former United States President Jimmy Carter also shared his impressions after having headed the recent electoral observer mission.



Let me turn now to other issues. While the Palestinian Authority security forces helped to maintain order during the recent elections, there were numerous and varied serious security incidents during the reporting period, many in or emanating from the Gaza Strip. Those events underlined the need for the Palestinian Authority to ensure law and order and take action against terrorism, as reiterated by the Quartet last night. The events included kidnappings, attacks on official buildings and installations, breaches of the border between Gaza and Egypt, Qassam rocket fire into southern Israel and suicide bombings for which Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Israel responded to terror attacks and the firing of rockets by tightening the closure regime, launching air strikes on areas in the Gaza Strip, conducting lethal ground operations in the West Bank and carrying out targeted killings. Barrier construction and land-levelling in occupied Palestinian territory continued in the reporting period, despite the ruling of the International Court of Justice. Earlier this month, the Israeli Defence Minister ordered that work be resumed on three sections of the barrier in Jerusalem, which had earlier been frozen following an order of the Israeli High Court of Justice. In addition, retroactive permits were issued for the construction of the Modi’in Illit settlement neighbourhood of Matityahu East, which is being built on land belonging to the Palestinian village of Bil’in.

At yesterday’s meeting, the Quartet reiterated its view that settlement expansion must stop and its concerns about the route of the barrier. It also took note of Acting Prime Minister Olmert’s recent statements that Israel will continue the process of removing unauthorized outposts.



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