Yasser Abed Rabbo: Special Ministerial Committee to Present 100-Day plan to President Arafat –
“Any declaration of a Palestinian state before Israeli withdrawal effectively consolidates the occupation and the present status quo”
June 15, 2002
Palestine Media Center-PMC
Mr. Yasser Abed Rabbo, Minister of Culture and Information, declared that the Special Ministerial Committee would present the main points of the 100-day plan to President Yasser Arafat, in order for it to be ratified at the weekly Ministerial meeting.
In an interview with the Palestinian daily Al-Quds, Mr. Abed Rabbo stressed, “The Ministerial Committee, which the President has initiated, will work on a daily basis to lay down the ideas and approaches, prior to the [Ministerial] meeting, in preparation for their assessment and to accelerate the process of their ratification.”
The Minister added that the committee is working on presenting a set of detailed practical suggestions with a specific timetable, in order to implement all articles, which include monetary, economic, security and judicial reforms.
Furthermore, the Minister emphasized that the plan entails implementing the most urgent of such reforms on the condition that “the international community cooperates with us to end the racist Israeli plans to divide the Palestinian Territory into fragmented cantons, and to stop the continuous reoccupation of Palestinian cities, towns and refugee camps.”
“It would be hypocritical of the international community not to support us and to stand silent against the destructive Israeli policy, while it calls on us to achieve the [reform] program which we are currently preparing for and to which we are devoting all our time, efforts and skills,” stated Mr. Abed Rabbo. Regarding a possible “provisional” state, the Minister underscored, “A provisional state is unacceptable to us, because it means accepting a permanent state on mere parts of the Palestinian Territory, and on isolated cantons under Israeli administration. For this reason, we call for a final agreement, once and for all, as it is the only means to free the Palestinian and Israeli peoples from the dangers of a destructive and long-standing conflict.” He added that the Palestinian leadership welcomes any progress in the American position. However, what is needed is not a new ‘vision’ or ‘program’ or ideas about a provisional state – which is unprecedented in human history – that entails a state with no borders, no sovereignty, and no geographical connection.
“What we need is a detailed plan to implement international resolutions, and a mechanism supervised by the quartet with a specific timetable to implement this plan, which aims at ending the Israeli occupation and its withdrawal to the June 4th 1967 borders, and the subsequent declaration of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he emphasized, adding that “any declaration of a Palestinian state before Israeli withdrawal effectively consolidates the occupation and the present status quo.”
Mr. Abed Rabbo further stressed that “before praising our intentions to undertake reforms, the American Administration ought to stop Sharon’s destructive plans, which pose the biggest obstacle to implementing such reforms, particularly the creation of so-called ‘buffer zones’ and a ‘security wall’, making the lives of Palestinians in dozens of border villages intolerable.”
“Washington must not play the role of the “observer”; it must eliminate the Israeli measures which paralyze our ability to achieve the bare minimum of our reform program. It is not possible to improve the living standards of a nation who lives inside one big jail, nor is it possible to establish effective, administrative institutions in light of daily Israeli aggression and destruction,” the Minister concluded.