Stop Tampering with The Social Contract and People's Rights: Let the State of Emergency Be Canceled Immediately


West Bank and Gaza

West Bank / Gaza / Core Program / position paper

Stop Tampering with The Social Contract and People's Rights: Let the State of Emergency Be Canceled Immediately


The executive authority insists and perseveres in its singularity and dominance once again where it adheres to imposing measures that affect the right of citizens to participate in public life and decides to extend the new state of emergency that it declared last month which lasted for 16 months. This state of emergency takes the form of a declaration and then an extension, in clear contradiction with the Basic Law and the Declaration of Independence as well as its conflict with the International Covenant on Political Rights that the State of Palestine acceded to and is bound by its provisions.


What is remarkable this time is not only the absence of legal reasons that support the state of emergency, MUSAWA has previously demonstrated that time after time. However, it has gone beyond the reality of the situation related to the Corona pandemic this time. Hospitals designated to receive and treat people infected with the virus have been closed, and several departments in other hospitals have been closed by decisions and instructions issued by the Ministry of Health, in addition to the positive public use of vaccination and waiting for the authority to fulfill the issue of providing it to everyone, not to mention the low rate of announced infections, which absolutely denies the need to declare a state of emergency, claiming to be facing the Covid-19 virus.


If we take into account that the eight declarations of state of emergency and their extensions were invested for the purpose of issuing many Decree-Laws without community consensus that fundamentally affected the principle of separation of powers (i.e. Decree-Law 5/2020), the independence of the judiciary (Decree-Law 39, 40 and 41/2020) and the right of citizens in choosing their representatives (Decree-Law to postpone the elections of professional syndicates/unions) and the principle of independence of civil society institutions (Decree-Law amending the law on associations), in addition to investing in the state of emergency to take many measures, appointments and promotions according to what the executive authority deems commensurate with its interests even if it conflicts with the Basic Law and related laws (appointments and promotions in the judiciary and the Constitutional Court).


The new extension is issued following the cancellation of the general elections and the postponement of the local council elections until further notice, contrary to what was previously announced that the elections were postponed to next November. In light of the noticeable increase in the phenomenon of political arrests, detention and restrain of freedom owing to the expression of opinion, the Public Prosecution and the court keep pace with the desires of the security services to carry out arrests on the grounds of defamation of high ranked people or inciting strife, which has reached the point of considering some electoral lists as hostile parties and arresting their supporters.


The declaration of a state of emergency and the continued absence of the legitimacy of the regime and the continuation of the policy of silencing the mouths indicate that the real motive for maintaining and extending the state of emergency time and time again contradicts the reasons that the executive authority claim that the emergency state is based on, which turns those reasons into flimsy justifications which requires every citizen keen on his/her national affiliation and adheres to constitutional rights to raise their voice and continue their pressure and explicit demands to cancel the entire state of emergency immediately and without delay.


YES to the right to participation and to preserve the dignity and constitutional rights of citizens, and NO to the state of emergency.


Issued on: 02/06/2021   



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