Deputy PNC Chairman Salim Za’noun denied a report attributed to him which was distributed by the Palestine Ministry of Information that there is a proposed draft for a new Palestinian National Charter. The report appears on the Palestinian Authority’s official Internet Website.

The report is provided as an attachment to an article with the notation “For Further Information, please contact: Walid M. Awad, Palestine Ministry of Information 3.3.97” and introduces the proposed draft by writing that “Palestinian press sources were informed that Deputy PNC Chairman Salim Za’noun instructed a special committee of specialists to draft a new proposal for a Palestinian National Charter.”

Zuhair Sanduka, the Director of International Parliamentary Affairs Department of the Palestine National Council told IMRA from Amman this morning that he was able to bring this information to the attention of Deputy PNC Chairman Salim Za’noun before he left for Gaza and that “Nothing of this report is true. Nothing has been said and his Excellency Za’noun denies that there is any draft of a Charter. He denied such reports in the past and nothing has happened in the last seven months on this matter.”

The text of the item, as it appears on the Palestinian Authority’s official INTERNET WEBSITE, appears below in full.

Palestinian press sources were informed that Deputy PNC Chairman Salim Za’noun instructed a special committee of specialists to draft a new proposal for a Palestinian National Charter.

The following is a draft proposal for a suggested Charter:

  1. Palestine is the homeland of the Palestinian people, it is an integral part of the Arab world, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab Nation.
  2. The form of government in Palestine is a parliamentary democracy. The commitment to the charter’s text and spirit is absolute, this will strengthen the unity of the nation, people, and government.
  3. Islam is the religion of the state, and Arabic is its official language.
  4. The Palestinians are the Arabs who were ordinarily resident in Palestine up to 1947, those who were forced to leave and those who remained. All those born to a Palestinian Arab father after that date inside Palestine or outside it are Palestinians.
  5. Palestinians, males and females are equal by law, they have the same rights and duties, any discrimination due to gender, race, religion or language is prohibited by law, as they are equal in their constitutional rights.
    They are committed to the supreme national interest, to the national conduct, in a manner capable of releasing and directing the collective material and spiritual power of the Palestinian people to enable it realize the goals of unity, progress and building of its future.
  6. Coexistence between the Palestinian people and the Israeli people is inevitable, dictating the need for each to be committed to the security of the other, to respect the other’s traditions, way of life, and circumstances.
  7. The Palestinian state will respect the State of Israel, the Palestinian people committed to live in peace and security with Israeli people.
  8. The Palestinian state is a state of law and order in its contempory definition, it is a state for all of its people regardless of the diversification and pluralism that might exist in it. It deduces its power from the practical implementation of the principles of justice and equal opportunity, from the Palestinian people’s participation in making their decisions in a manner capable of bringing about an environment of stability, trust in its future, the eagerness to protect state establishments and institutions, and to be proud of belonging to it.
  9. The need to realize Palestinian national security requires paying special attention to the Palestinian armed forces, to enhance its capability and base, to develop it and to mobilize the resources in its support, to enable it carry out its duties to protect the homeland, and to contribute to its construction and development for the purpose of achieving maximum unity between the Palestinian people in all its segments, the commitment to preserve the security of the people and to protect its achievements.
  10. Complete commitment to the rule of law under the supervision of a Palestinian Independent Judicial Authority.
  11. The principles of free speech will be duly respected. Freedom of opinion and thoughts away from any pressure or intellectual repression is guaranteed.
  12. The Palestinian economy will be based on the concepts of free market economy, it will encourage individual initiatives, protect individual private property. It asserts that the state is the owner of all natural resources and strategic projects, it has the right to administer these resources in accordance with the Palestinian national interest. The state will direct and regulate the economy and will allocate resources according to national priorities.
  13. The state will work towards creating work opportunities for all its citizens, formulate policies, and implement plans to encourage economic growth to enable the creation of real work opportunities, provide an educational system and link it to the contemporary needs of the Palestinian society, and to inject ‘value’ concepts in the workplace.
  14. Unity projects between the states of Jordan and Palestine are very much viable. Achieving a lasting unity requires respecting the will and choice of both Palestinian and Jordanians to bring about a formulae for unity to be modeled upon to encompass the whole Arab nation.
  15. To work towards the establishment of one form of Arab unity, taking into account objective, Pan Arab, and regional considerations, with due regard to the individual country’s characteristics.
  16. Commitment to Arab causes and to Pan Arab priorities, to call for clear individual Arab state’s positions, as clarity of position is indicative of each country’s stand vis a vis its Pan Arab intentions.
  17. This charter can only be altered, adjusted, or modified by a special session of the council called for this purpose and by a two-thirds majority.

For Further Information, please contact:
Walid M. Awad,
Palestine Ministry of Information.

Dr. Aaron Lerner is Director of IMRA (Independent Media Review & Analysis)