ًWest Bank and Gaza
Ramallah / Gaza – 18/09/2023
In light of the Council of Ministers' decision in session No. (221) on September 11, 2023, regarding the membership of state employees on the governing bodies of charities, CSOs, and non-profit organizations, upon the recommendation of the Minister of Social Development and based on public interest requirements and the authorities granted to the government, as stated in the decision. Also, following thorough discussions among CSOs about the implications of these decisions for civil work and the fundamental rights, and upon invitation from the Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO) with the participation of organizations, civil coalitions, human rights organizations, and legal institutions in the West Bank and Gaza via ZOOM, CSOs affirm the following:
– Rejecting the aforementioned decision, calling on the government to rescind it since it violates the Basic Law and the Association Law No. (1) of 2000, in addition to placing further constraints on the right to form and join associations, and restricting its work in a way that limits the independence of civil work, and this is only the latest of a lengthy chain of decisions that must be ended.
– Calling for a serious dialogue based on the rejection of this decision and the series of decrees by law that impact civil society's work and attempt to exert control over it. All these decrees demonstrate the encroachment of the executive authority in the absence of the legislative council, that is made perpetually absent by the executive authority. This portends the shift to a totalitarian regime devoid of constitutional life and the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Basic Law.
– Rejecting any procedures, restrictions, or decisions, defending the rights of organizations, associations, and non-profits to carry out their work, and demanding that it be given space to carry out its work, which it has utilized for years prior to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, to combat the occupation's policies and strengthen the resilience of the Palestinian people. It emphasized the need for genuine partnership in the face of the immense challenges facing the Palestinian Cause in order to bring about a fundamental change in the relationship between the government and CSOs.
– Continuing to work with all parties, allies, and partners at the local level to face these decrees by law, using all available means and tools, such as memos, meetings, field activities, and position papers, to pressure decision-makers and voice their rejection of silencing and gagging approach of the executive authority, while emphasizing compliance with the spirit of the law and preventing any violations by anyone.