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Source: Palestinian Authority
9 October 2012

Palestinian Cabinet Meeting Statement (21)

Cabinet Approves Recommendations of the Wages Committee,
Condemns Continued Attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound
and Escalated Settler Attacks during the Olive Harvest

During its weekly meeting in Ramallah chaired by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the Cabinet condemned the escalated Israeli attacks against Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound as well as other holy Christian and Islamic sites in Jerusalem, including the raid by occupation forces of the holy compound where worshipers were attacked and many were arrested as well as the raids by settlers of Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, under the protection of the occupation military, on a daily basis. The Cabinet also condemned the settler attack, for the third time in a month, with stones and empty bottles against the Romanian Orthodox Church in occupied Jerusalem. In this regard, the Cabinet called for the urgent convening of a meeting of the Jerusalem Committee to discuss adopting steps needed to to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound and other holy sites in occupied Jerusalem. The Cabinet also called for active mobilization by the Arab League at all international forums to oblige Israel to stop these violations against our people and holy places, and abide by the rules of international law.

The Cabinet also strongly condemned the Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip, which led to the martyrdom of one citizen and injury of at least ten others. The Cabinet also equally condemned the continued acts of aggression against our people, especially the terrorist attacks by settler against Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest, as was the case most recently in Qaryout, Al-Khader, Fartaa, Kufor Qaddum, Beitillo Al-Janieh, and Ras Karkar villages, where dozens of olive trees were cut down, as well as barring farmers from accessing their land in Hebron, and the cutting down of at least 100 grape vines in Al-Khader, Bethlehem, by settlers. The Cabinet also condemned the cutting down of 120 olive trees in Qayout village this Tuesday morning in addition to the establishment of a new settlement outpost in Aqraba village.

Accordingly, the Cabinet called for wide social participation in solidarity with the farmers during the olive harvest. It also called for providing immediate protection for our people and held the Israeli government fully responsible for the continued escalation of settler terrorism against our people, their property, and sources of income.

In this regard, the Cabinet also called upon international bodies and human rights organizations to work to save the lives of prisoners Ayman Sharawneh and Samer Issawi, who have been on a long-standing hunger strike and compel Israel to immediately release them. The Cabinet holds the Israeli government fully responsible for the lives of these prisoners, particularly after their health conditions have seriusly deteriorated. Further, the Cabinet stressed the need to end all administrative detentions, end the pursuit and renewed imprisonment of prisoners freed in the Shalit deal, and called for the release of all prisoners from occupation prisoners, particularly the ill, those who have been imprisoned for a long period, and legislative council members.

The Cabinet endorsed the recommendations of the Wages Committee regarding determining the minimum wage in Palestine to be worth NIS1450 per month, and the minimum day wage for day-wage laborers, including irregular day labor and seasonal labor to be NIS65 per day, and minimum hourly wage to be NIS8.5. In this context, the Cabinet commended the committee’s strenuous efforts and its findings. The Cabinet also expressed its understanding of some views and reservations expressed by some of the participants in the discussions of the Commission. The Cabinet also affirmed the importance of developing practical mechanisms to ensure compliance and implementation of this decision at the beginning of next year, in accordance with the committee’s recommendations.

The Cabinet welcomed the positive spirit evident in the election campaigns for the local councils, considering participation in these elections an exercise of responsibility by the citizens to consecrate their rights to participate in and shoulder responsibility for the advancement of the role of these councils, which are considered the most important link in the system of governance and administration.

The Cabinet also reaffirmed the National Authority’s continued keenness to support the steadfastness of the citizens, especially the poor and marginalized, and particularly those living in areas designated as “C”, indicating that recently the third installment of assistance was disbursed for more than 100,000 Palestinian families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Cabinet praised the progress in the Palestinian IT sector, affirming that the National Authority is doing its utmost to support this promising sector due to its great importance in the development process. The Cabinet also reiterated that the National Authority shall continue to exert all possible efforts with international parties in order to obtain the third and fourth generation services.

The Cabinet also discussed the continuing financial crisis, which is limiting the government’s ability to paying the salaries on time. The Council also affirmed it would to continue to work and exert its utmost effort to provide the necessary funding in this regard. In this context, the Cabinet announced that the date for salary payments will be announced during the coming days and in line with the maximum amount possible according to the resources available at that date.

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