The International Commission (ICSPR) calls on the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to reverse its decision to suspend the financial allocations and pay the financial expenses of “Yasser Arafat Foundation”

 NO:30/2021

Date: 15 Mar 2021

Press Release

The International Commission (ICSPR) calls on the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to reverse its decision to suspend the financial allocations and pay the financial expenses of “Yasser Arafat Foundation”

ICSPR was shocked by the decision to suspend allocations and any expenditures related to Yasser Arafat Foundation, either directly or through a financial transfer to the Palestinian National Fund.

Where a document dated “11March 2021”  signed by Dr. Ramzi al-Khoury the Director-General of the Palestinian National Fund and addressed to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Shukri Bishara ,in which he calls to stop the financial allocations related to “Yasser Arafat Foundation”, based on the Presidency instructions, provided that the decision will come into effect on the date of its issuance.

This decision comes within a series of presidential and executive committee decisions regarding Dr. Nasser Al-Qidra, leader in Fatah movement, who was dismissed from the Central Committee due to his desire to form an independent electoral list that will participate in the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections.

Yasser Arafat Foundation is an independent and non-profit institution, established according to Presidential Decree No. 5 of 2007, and the Amended Decree of 2008, aimed at preserving the legacy of the late President among the Palestinian and Arab people, and for the purpose of carrying out charitable, humanitarian, social and academic activities for Palestinians. The Foundation receives governmental support and carries out governmental tasks towards the legacy of the late President, at the same time, it has legal, financial and administrative independence, in which Dr. al-Qidra is chairman of the board of directors.

ICSPR expresses its solidarity with the Yasser Arafat Foundation, and affirms that the decision to stop the financial allocations and expenditures will negatively affect the foundation’s ability to reach its goals. ICSPR also affirms the flow of decisions and decree-laws that was recently issued by the Palestinian presidency lack necessity and legitimacy, considering “Yasser Arafat Foundation” is an important factor in preserving the legacy of the late martyr leader: Yasser Arafat, and the funds that are managed by the Palestinian National Fund and the Ministry of Finance are public funds, which may not be spent in a way that is against the legal requirements for the disposal of public money. Therefore, ICSPR demands the following:

ICSPR affirms that the decision to stop the financial allocations and expenditures of the Martyr Yasser Arafat Foundation is a violation of the Palestine Liberation Organization Charter and Palestinian laws.

ICSPR considers the decision to stop the financial allocations and expenditures of” Yasser Arafat Foundation” an insulting act of using public money in political, and is a proof of the illegal presidential decisions aimed controlling the Palestinian institutions.

ICSPR urges both the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of Yasser Arafat Foundation to express their rejection of this illegal decision in public and how it threatens the Foundation’s presence.

ICSPR demands the PLO and President Mahmoud Abbas to immediately reverse the decision to and to pay the financial expenditures of Yasser Arafat Foundation and the political parties which allocations from the Palestinian National Fund have been suspended.