Geneva Initiative Annexes
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GI hosts Dutch journalists at GI offices in Ramallah

On June 22, the Geneva Initiative hosted a group of Dutch journalists for a briefing with GI representatives and PA officials in Ramallah.

22.06.2010

The Geneva Initiative hosted a delegation of 25 Dutch journalists at their offices in Ramallah. The event was part of the journalists schedule in a seminar in the region sponsored by the Hague based Center for Information and Documentation Israel (CIDI).
 
The delegation met with the Palestinian former minister Mr. Zufian Abu Zaideh who briefed them on the current political situation and the obstacles facing the peace process. Abu Zaideh spoke about the Palestinian position regarding resuming negotiations with Israel and stated that negotiations would be the only way to reach an end game settlement for the conflict. He highlighted that settlements and demolishing Palestinian lands are now the only obstacle to moving forward, referring to the latest Israeli settlements activities in Jerusalem and the bulldozing of Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem. Abu Zaideh added that 67% of Palestinians still believe in the two-state solution, however, if the settlement fails to include a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital, the two-state solution will cease to be an option.
 
Mr. Sam Bahour briefed the group about the economic situation in the Palestinian Territories and how it is affected by the occupation. Bahour stressed his concerns about many political issues, emphasizing the difficulties of discussing the development of a Palestinian economy while under occupation. He said, "How can we develop an economy while we are living within small cantons? It is hard to develop a Palestinian economy while we don’t have a Palestinian state and most of our resources are controlled by Israel: land, air, water, frequencies, electricity, etc. Palestinians need to have free access to human resources in order to be able to build their own country".
 
GI Signatory Dr. Nazmi Alju’beh briefed the journalists about Jerusalem, one of the core issues in the Israeli Palestinian conflict. He stated a belief that the solution is still possible, but stressed the need for decision makers from both sides who are committed to a two-state solution to actually divide Jerusalem into two-parts instead of just continuing to negotiate details. He additionally discussed issues of discrimination and collective punishments against Palestinians living in Jerusalem. Mr. Alju’beh concluded with his vision for Jerusalem as a national capital for Israel and Palestine, a city for all three religions and an accessible world heritage center, and a city that will satisfy the needs of its residents as well as the international community.
 
The delegation visited the Palestinian Governmental Media Center and met with Dr. Ghassan Alkhatib, General Director of PGMC, and three Palestinian journalists who spoke about politics and freedom of expression in the Palestinian Authority. Dr. Alkhatib briefed the group about the center and the general media services it provides in addition to the role of the center as the official media outlet of the government. He highlighted the center's four main functions including outflow of information and positions to the public through press conferences and press releases, monitoring the coverage of Palestinian and Arab issues, training, upgrading, and coordinating media departments in all ministries and other official organizations, and developing commissions for licensing and regulation of media outlets.
 
 

Delegation of Dutch journalists

 

Palestinian former minister Mr. Zufian Abu Zaideh (right)

 

Mr. Sam Bahour addressing Dutch delegation on Palestinian economic development

 

GI Signatory Dr. Nazmi Alju’beh (right)

 

General Director of PGMC Dr. Ghassan Alkhatib (center) with Palestinian journalists at the Government Media Center