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Palestine Constitution: General Framework & Contents’ suggestion

Palestinian National Authority

The Palestine Constitution Committee

Headed by Dr. Nabeel Ali Shaath

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation

Palestine Constitution: General Framework & Contents’ suggestion




Dr Kamal Astal

Associate Professor of Political Science

Al-Azhar University of Gaza

Palestine Constitution Committee’s Member

Head of Peace Center for Community Training and Research (PEACE)

POBox (7039)-Khan Younis, Gaza Strip

 Tel: 2051966, Telfax: 2054966, Mobile: 059843850

Email: peacearab@yahoo.com, Website: www.pccps.net


December 2002


The Palestine Constitution contents: Suggestion

The State of Palestine constitution may contain the following eight chapters:


Chapter One:  General provisions and basic rules

Chapter Two: The State of Palestine

Chapter Three: The basic constituents of the Palestinian Society

Chapter Four: The economic system of the Palestine State

Chapter Five: Public Liberties and Citizens’ Basic Rights and Obligations

Chapter Six: The Rule of law

Chapter Seven: The Political Regime/system in Palestine State

            Section one: The Legislative

            Section two: The Executive Authority

A-    The President

B-    The Government

Section three: Local Government

Section four: The Specialized National Councils

Section five: the Judiciary

Section Six: Journalism authority

Section seven: The Attorney General

Section eight: Defence forces, Security organs and National Guard

Section nine: The Police

Chapter Eight: Transitory and general provisions

General Framework and Contents


The permeable include the Palestine declaration of independence of 1988

Chapter One: General and basic provisions and rules

-The Palestinian people are the source of all authority

–                     The government of Palestine shall be based on parliamentary democracy and pluralism.

–                     The Arabic language shall be the official language of Palestine

–                     The flag of Palestine shall be of the following colours and dimensions: its length twice its width, divided horizontally into three equal parallel parts, the upper black, the middle white and the lower green, thereon placed from the base a red triangle whose base and height equal the breadth and half the length of the flag, respectively.

–                     Jerusalem shall be the capital of Palestine

–                     Sovereignty over the national resources in Palestine is vested in the Palestinian people.

–                     The constitution is the supreme law in Palestine

–                     This constitution may not be amended except by a two-thirds majority of the elected legislature.


Chapter Two: the state of Palestine

v     Palestine is an Arab country, and part of Arab nation, part of its heritage, civilization and present ambition to achieve its goals in liberation, development, democracy and unity.

v     Palestine respects the Charter of Arab league

v     Palestine announces its observance of the UN  Charter and its goals

v     Palestine beliefs in peace and principles of pacific peaceful co-existence.

v     Palestine beliefs in solving regional and international problems and conflicts in peaceful way according to the charter of UN and its resolutions.

v     Palestine refuses threatening, violence and terror

v     Palestine is seeking r to establish cooperation and to expand friend ‘s circle and minimizing enemies’ circle.


Chapter Three: The Basic Constituents of the Palestinian Society

The Palestinian society and state is based upon:

-Social solidarity, justice, freedom, equality and national unity

-equal opportunities for all citizens (men and women)

– Nuclear family is the basis of the community

-protection of maternity and childhood

-Protection of social morals, traditions, historical heritage

– women rights are equal to men’s in political, social, economic and cultural fields.

-work is an honor and obligation

-Priorities should be paid to myrters’ wives and sons…


Chapter Four: The Economic system of Palestine

Philosophy of the Palestinian economy is based on:

–         free market economy and social justice

–         protecting poor strata

–         serving individual and society’s interests

–         enhancing national independence

–         private sector is the backbone of the economy and free market is its mechanism

–         public sector is owned by the state in the fields that cannon be privatized.

–         Property in Palestine is three kinds: public property, private property, and cooperative property.

–         Government encourages investments and internal and external trade.

–         Natural resources are state-owned

–         Long-term loans should be held upon parliament approval

–         Taxes, property confiscations, nationalization are taken place according to law.


Chapter Five: Public Liberties, citizens’ rights and obligations

Palestine recognizes and respects the fundamental human rights and freedoms prescribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the international convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other Covenants which secure such rights and freedoms. Palestine authorities shall adhere to the said international agreements.


Chapter Six: The Sovereignty/Rule  of law

-The superiority of law is the basis of rule in Palestine

– The state organs are subject to rule of law….

– The Judiciary is independent….

-Citizen’s right to go to court is guaranteed.

-Man is considered innocent unless found guilty.

-State has no right to deny citizen’s right to go to court in emergencies.

– Personalization of crime and punishment..

-Courts issue their decisions in the people’s name…


Chapter Seven: The Political system/Regime of Palestine state

The Palestine state political system is based upon;

-parliamentary democracy

-political pluralism

-political participation

-separation of power

-independence of judiciary

-the rule of law


Section one: Legislative Authority

The Palestinian parliament contains of bi-camera and it has 300 members.

The Palestine parliament shall exercise legislative authority. The legislature shall lay down its rules of procedures and shall prescribe the rules relating to the enactment of laws and its laws and its relationship with the Executive Authority. Law defines the membership prerequisite.


Section two: Executive Authority

The executive authority contains of two main parts. The president and prime Minister as a chief officer.

1-The president (The authorities of the presidents resembles the Egyptian presidents authorities).

2- The prime Minister (chief officer) The Council of Ministers



Section three: Local Government

The Palestine has a local government not a mere local administration. This means a huge amount of delegation of power to the local authorities.

Law defines the authorities of local units, their financial resources and their relation with people.


Section Four: The specialized national councils

Specialized national councils follow the president office and help in public policy formulation and implementation. These councils include higher council of maternity and childhood, higher council of youth and sport, higher council of environment, higher council of culture,…etc.


Section Five: The Judiciary

The judicial authority shall be exercised in accordance with this constitution and law. The Judiciary is independent and courts are organized by law. Counts may include: primary courts, magistrate courts, Supreme Court, constitutional courts, emergency/marshal courts. Judges are independent.


Section Six: The Attorney General

The attorney general represents the government and public interests. Public and government cases shall be conducted by the Attorney General in the name of the people.


Section Seven: Journalism authority

Journalism is a popular authority that enjoys full freedom of express.


Section eight: Defence forces, Security organs and National Guard

Law defines the authorities and job of defense forces and security organs.


Section Nine: The Police

Law defines the authorities and job of the police.




Chapter Eight: Transitory provisions

laws, regulations should be published in the official gazette

– Laws must not be applied retroactively

– The president and parliament have the right to ask for constitutional amendment.

-all laws there were issued before the publication and ratification of the constitution are valid unless contradict with the constitution.

-Palestine state has the right to hold international treaties that define its borders/frontiers and these treaties should be ratified by the parliaments.

-this constitution is considered valid after wining a popular approval in a referendum and after 30 days of its ratification and publication on the official gazette.

Dr Kamal Astal

Email: peacearab@yahoo.com

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