Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Date: 26 January 2005
Time: 12:00 GMT
PCHR Welcomes a Decision by the PNA to Demolish Unlicensed Structures Built on Public and Governmental Land and Calls for More Steps to Enforce the Rule of Law
PCHR welcomes a decision taken by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to start to demolish unlicensed structures built on public and governmental land. The implementation of this decision started on Tuesday morning, 25 January 2005. PCHR believes that this decision serves as one of a series of steps that should be taken to enforce the rule of law under the PNA jurisdiction. PCHR believes that this decision is a duty of the PNA, especially as most of such breaches of the law were carried out by PNA officials and members of security services in a period that witnessed the triumph of force over the rule of law in a humiliation of the Palestinian people in a time when there was great pessimisim about the future.
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, accompanied by the Director of the Public Land Authority Furaih Abu Meddain and a number of officials and commanders of security services, had a field tour in Gaza City, during which they noticed unlicensed structures built on public and governmental land. President Abbas decided on 23 January 2005 to form an executive force of security services, including the police, to start to demolish such structures.
On Tuesday morning, 25 January 2005, the police and other security services started to demolish unlicensed structures built on public and governmental land, especially at the beach in Gaza City. They demolished dozens of such structures along the beach in Gaza City, in the context of a wide scale campaign of demolition which is expected to extend to other areas in the Gaza Strip.
PCHR welcomes these steps which serve to promote the rule of law and end the security chaos which spread in the past six months. PCHR calls upon the Palestinian President and the PNA to take more steps to promote the rule of law and exercise the jurisdiction over the PNA territory to ensure safety and security of citizens. PCHR calls for implementing this same policy towards assaults by some institutions and officials on public and private land, ensure that the law is applicable to all citizens without any discrimination. PCHR will follow up this issue, believing that it is the first in a series of steps that should be immediately taken, including the implementation of court rulings related to assaults on public and private property, and dealing with violations of public rights and freedoms, especially the right to life, security, and personal integrity this will enable Palestinians gain genuine equality in the recognition of their rights.
Retrieving large areas of public and private land seized by a number of people in the past ten years is the right step towards a proper evaluation of Palestinian resources, so that they can be used towards economic and social development. The PNA has been forced to buy buildings and areas of land to provide housing for thousands of Palestinians, whose houses were destroyed by Israeli occupation forces, or to freeze housing project due to the lack of land.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893