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17 April 2013
Official translation of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's last weekly address on Voice of Palestine:
This is Salam Fayyad and this is my weekly address through the Voice of Palestine and the other national radio network...
I decided to focus my address this week, which is the last I shall give as Prime Minister, on the big challenges confronting us, especially domestically, and the need to mobilize our energies in a context that achieves the required harmony between all the components of our political system in a way that contributes to uniting all efforts in confronting the occupation and its plans that continue to target our people's existence as an entity and their right to live and stay in their homeland.
About six years ago, I was honored to be given the opportunity to serve you when I was entrusted with the task of forming a new government, which unfortunately came during probably the most complex circumstances since the establishment of the first Palestinian National Authority in Palestine.
The greatest credit and most important pillar goes to the support lent by every Palestinian citizen to our program, which based its priorities on your needs. This support enabled us to rebuild our national institutions and advance their role and ability to eliminate the state of chaos, which was rampant and meanwhile destroying our national project, in addition to developing these institutions' capabilities in serving and protecting the public good and providing essential services to citizens that strengthen their steadfastness and ability to confront the occupation - this was in the context of a clear vision of national liberation and establishing democracy. This support revived hope and confidence in our ability (as a nation) to realize achievements as well as achieve progress, with steady steps, towards consolidating the institutions of the State of Palestine whose main function is the service of its citizens on the basis of the principles of citizenry, which are founded on justice, fairness, respect of rights and protection of freedoms.
All along, our main measure of success was the extent of progress achieved towards reuniting the homeland and its institutions, which unfortunately still requires more effort and dedication from us all to ensure its achievement. This issue is the cornerstone of the possibility of establishing and materializing the independent State of Palestine on the ground. And just as there could be no State without Jerusalem as its eternal capital, there can be no state without the Gaza Strip as an integral part of it. As such, respect for citizens' consciousness and their role in achieving this goal requires a return to the people and holding general elections, which is the only gateway to rebuilding our political system and achieving our national goals.
My sister and brothers,
Today, and after submitting my resignation to the President “Abu Mazen” and thanking him for the opportunity that was granted to me to serve you, it is my duty to address you with utmost transparency and in the spirit of partnership that we’ve worked together with throughout the last period.
What we need most at this stage is to focus on strengthening our domestic front and to remove all manifestations of weakness in the structure of our political system, in a way that ensures more support and commitment to our national project and protect it from all looming dangers. We need to redouble efforts to bring closer the moment of salvation and freedom from the tyranny of occupation and terrorism of its settlers' so that we can establish our national sovereignty on the land of the State of Palestine, which was endorsed by the international community last November, and to which every Palestinian contributed in the building of its pillars and consolidation of its elements so that it could be a free state for a free people; a state crowned by the sufferings of the prisoners and dispossessed as well as the greatness of the sacrifices of the martyrs, foremost of whom is our great leader Abu Ammar (Yasser Arafat). I am confident of our people's ability to achieve these goals.
My sisters and brothers,
At this time, I feel a deep sense of gratitude to all those who supported us and stood by us. I am also deeply grateful for each opinion or position that criticized the path of our work and tried to correct it for the benefit of our people and their national cause. As for those who maintained preconceived positions throughout our journey or made it their business to launch attacks and spread prejudices, I tell them: may God forgive you. Palestine is greater than us all.
During the past years, we focused our primary mission on providing all that would strengthen our people's capacity to remain steadfast and enable them to stay in their homeland. We also focused on providing the conditions that are conducive to mobilizing their energies in the battle of national liberation and building of democracy in the face of the occupation and its policies that target our people's natural right to stay in their land and live in it, in freedom and dignity.
Our people have always been the mentor and inspiration and the most important support; they armed us with the hope and confidence in our ability to accumulate achievements as well as correct any shortcomings or gaps in our journey and work. This hope, which our people nurture every day, was growing and strengthening our will as well as the inevitability of our cause's victory - to the extent that enable a child to reach their school, or a farmer to stay in his land, or a citizen to stay steadfast for one more day and a day after that... until we achieve all the objectives of our national project.
I hope that the new government will be able to build on what has been achieved and continue to mobilize all energies and invest the maximum potential and capabilities to enhance the steadfastness of our people and their ability to further contribute to the struggle for national liberation and building of democracy.
Before I conclude my speech, I would like to assure you that stepping down from this office in no way means abandoning work or the contribution to the defense of our people's cause and their basic rights to freedom and dignity as well as providing all that could bring the moment of victory closer, just as is the case for each and every Palestinian.
At the end of my speech, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for every idea, opinion and initiative that has helped us in our work. I also thank you for every moment you hosted us in your homes and tents, in your villages and communities... in every corner and neighborhood of the cities, villages, and refugee camps of our homeland that shall be victorious, with God's will and your determination. We shall always count, first and foremost, on our people, their steadfastness and determination to achieve all their rights.
We will always be together; our people have a date, soon, with freedom, God willing.
Thank you. Peace be upon you.