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GI holds Youth Workshop in Gaza entitled ‘Citizenship and Political Tolerance’

05/04/2008: GI holds Youth Workshop in Gaza entitled ‘Citizenship and Political Tolerance’
Date: 05.04.08

On Saturday, April 5th, The Palestinian Peace Coalition-Geneva Initiative held a workshop on ‘Citizenship and Political Tolerance’ in the Gaza Strip.

Some 40 youths from both genders and from across the Gaza Strip attended the workshop and discussed several issues and youth initiatives aimed at strengthening the concepts of democracy, political tolerance and good citizenship.

Among the speakers in the workshop was Political Analyst Mr. Tala Okal, who emphasized the importance of protecting the Palestinian citizen’s basic rights, adding that losing these rights would lead to a rapid decline in national belonging and citizenship.

Mr. Okal stressed that the Palestinian democratic process and the absence of respect for basic human rights leads to an increase in the number of people emigrating from the Palestinian territories.

He called for an end to the Palestinian internal political conflict and for a larger focus on social problems facing the Palestinian people, especially the youth.

Saleem Al Hindi, PPC-GI representative in the Gaza Strip, emphasized the pivotal role that dialogue and talks play in solving all problems and overcoming the stalemate in the Gaza Strip. He shed light also on the prevailing political developments in the Annapolis process, which opens a window of hope versus the deteriorated economic and internal status that spread despair and anger. He also detailed the role PPC-GI is currently playing.

Participants stressed that the prevailing conditions in the Gaza Strip, including attacks on institutions, the deterioration of the ability to get education and health services, and suspension of work in many institutions necessary for the daily life, as well as closure of passages linking the Gaza Strip with the West Bank and the external world are damaging the Palestinian social tissue, hence putting in jeopardy the Palestinians' ambition to have an independent state, and causing the Palestinians to lose faith in any peace plan that may be presented at the end of the Annapolis process.