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Palestinian petition to PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas

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Petition to the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization Mahmoud Abbas We the undersigned Palestinians, appalled by Israel’s assault on Gaza and by the lack of effective action to end it, call on you to immediately stop negotiations with Israel until it • Ends all military activity against Gaza. • Ends its draconian siege against the Palestinian people in Gaza once and for all. • Agrees to a comprehensive, reciprocal ceasefire that covers all parts of Palestine and Israel. • Completely freezes its construction of settlements and the Separation Wall. We further urge you to forge unity between all Palestinian political parties, no matter how difficult. National unity is one of the most crucial sources of power of our people and we must struggle to preserve it. We call on you to revive the Palestine Liberation Organization and to democratize its institutions. Our people have suffered for decades to secure recognition of the PLO as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and we consider that negotiations conducted outside this framework do not represent the Palestinian people. We call on you not to enter into any agreement that does not apply international law to this conflict. We are alarmed and increasingly alienated by the leadership’s participation in peace initiatives that are not grounded in international law. We urge you to make a clear, public call to Arab capitals to stand with you for an immediate end to the attacks and siege of Gaza; a comprehensive and reciprocal ceasefire covering all Palestinian territories; and an end to Israeli construction of settlements and the Wall. We call for a unified Arab position that insists on these minimum steps before peace negotiations take place and that suspends all dealings with Israel until these steps are taken. We ask that you, together with other Arab leaders, issue a clear, public demand to European countries and the United States to hold Israel accountable for its obligations under the Geneva Conventions, which set out the international humanitarian law applicable to war and occupation. Palestinians are not as powerless as Israel would like to make us. International civil society is speaking and acting to protest Israel’s violations of our human rights and is supporting the Palestinian civil society call of July 9, 2005 for boycott, divestment, and sanctions until Palestinian human rights are achieved, beginning with the right to self-determination (http://www.stopthewall.org/downloads/pdf/BDSEnglish.pdf) We urge you to call on the international community to support such measures until Palestinian rights are realized. ******** This petition is for signature by Palestinians only. If a substantial number of signatures are collected by mid-January, 2009, the petition will be submitted to the PLO chairman. Otherwise the petition will be held open for a few weeks longer to give the widest possible number of Palestinians, wherever they are, the opportunity to sign. Please spread the word to your Palestinian compatriots.

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The petition is being sponsored by an ad hoc group of Palestinians living in the US who include Nadia Hijab, Grace Said, Philp Farah, Nabil Mohamad, Noura Erakat, and Mohammed Abunimer.
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