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Palestinians observe new constitution

By SAUD ABU RAMADAN   |   July 7, 2002 at 7:07 AM   |   Comments

GAZA, July 7 (UPI) -- Palestinian Minister of Justice Ibrahim Al Daghma

Sunday announced that the Palestinian Authority has started to implement a transitional constitution of the independent Palestinian state.

"This basic law will be the nucleus for establishing the constitution of the coming independent Palestinian state," Al Daghma told reporters in a news conference held at the ministry of justice in Gaza City.

He said that this law, which will lead to a permanent constitution, was approved by both Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat as the president of the Palestinian executive authority as well as the legislative authority which is the Palestinian Legislative Council.

The new constitution or the "basic law" clarifies the duties and the rights of the Palestinian citizens as well as the work of the three major authorities, the legislative, the executive and the judicial authorities.

"We are in a new era, the area of building up the democratic Palestinian state after the legal and constitutional structures were finalized," Al

Daghma said. "All of us will be committed to implement the content and the text of this constitution."

After approving the Palestinian Authority transitional constitution and starting to implement it, Al Daghma called upon all the Palestinian ministers and officials to respect the law and be committed to honestly implementing it.

"This basic law will be the acting constitution until the Palestinian state is established," said Al Daghma, adding that this basic law "has put in consideration the current political situation and the status of

emergency due to military operations of the Israeli army."

He called upon the international community to work together with the Palestinians "to end the Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza in order to establish our independent Palestinian state with its constitutional and legal institutions."

On May 17, Arafat as well as the PLC approved the basic law, when Arafat gave his instruction to start its immediate implementation.

After facing pressure from the United States and Israel, Arafat announced on May 15 Ă½that he intended to carry out reforms into the civil and security institutions of the Authority, as well as holding parliamentary and presidential elections by the beginning of next year.

"This constitution fits for the Palestinian authority, and once an independent democratic state is established, there will be a new permanent

constitution," said Al Daghma, appointed by Arafat to be the new minister of Justice.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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