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GI youth camp in Ramallah tackles the issue of prisoners in the context of peacemaking

14/03/2008: GI youth camp in Ramallah tackles the issue of prisoners in the context of peacemaking
Date: 14.03.08

On the weekend of March 14th, the Palestinian Peace Coalition-Geneva Initiative held a youth camp in Ramallah, entitled "Shackled but Free."

Some 280 university students from across the West Bank attended the youth camp, which lasted for three days.

The camp focused on the issue of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails in addition to issues of tolerance, civic dialogue, peace, and non-violence.

The camp also included a lecture by Head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club Mr. Qadora Fares, who stressed the importance of resolving the issue of prisoners as a pretext to reaching an agreement.

Mr. Fares also called on the Palestinian authority to take more firm steps to end the suffering of the Palestinian prisoners, adding that there is a need to carry out a world wide public campaign to put pressure on the Israeli government and release the prisoners.

The Camp was also attended by representatives of the European Commission office in Jerusalem who spoke about the EC’s role in supporting the Palestinian civil society organizations and youth initiatives.

Among the speakers was Dr. Izzat Ayoub, the Coordinator of the Partnership for Peace Program at the EC, who pointed out that the EC plays a central role in the peace process, through the quartet and other mechanisms of support to the Palestinian people.

Mr. Nidal Fuqaha, PPC General Director, said the PPC aims to spread the culture of peace and dialogue in Palestinian society through empowering the Palestinian youths to allow them to play a bigger role in spreading the culture of democracy and tolerance.

The camp also included a series of discussion workshops and sessions, focusing on several topics, including international involvement in the peace process, the importance of the Arab peace Initiative, and raising the participants’ awareness about the Geneva Initiative.

The camp was held as part of the EC funded project entitled "Empowering Rational Voices."