Ashrawi to ILO delegation: Palestine needs freedom to achieve prosperity

RAMALLAH, Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), briefed today a delegation of International Labor Organization (ILO) on the overall political situation and the challenges facing the Palestinian people, including most prominently the merging of interests and policies between the administration of US President Donald Trump and the far-right in Israel.

“Israel now carries out its violations of Palestinian rights, including labor rights, with unabashed impunity and racism because it enjoys unprecedented protection from the Trump administration, which operates under the false assumption that Palestinians can be starved and pressured into submission or defeat,” said Ashrawi, adding, “The Palestinian people are facing one of the most dangerous chapters in our modern history where our national, legal and human rights are threatened.”

On the issue of the status of labor rights and situation of the Palestinian labor force, the PLO official reiterated that the policies and practices of the Israeli occupation remain the single most important impediment to Palestinian development. “The Palestinian workforce is young, skilled, and innovative. Yet, it is forced to endure punitive restrictions and policies of subservience that condemn them to the reality of soaring unemployment and dissipating hope they now face,” she said.

“The solution to these serious challenges lies in tackling the real causes of the labor crisis in Palestine, which is Israel’s illegal regime of occupation and colonization that deprives the Palestinian people from their land and natural resources, barring them from taking the economic choices that can ensure prosperity. Contrary to the conveniently misguided US-Israeli narrative in this regard, we know that the solution lies in empowering the Palestinian people and securing their national and economic freedom rather than accept cosmetic changes to the chronic state of economic malaise under occupation,” Ashrawi affirmed. “Palestine needs economic and political freedom to achieve its potential in prosperity and development,” she concluded.

The ILO delegation included Deputy Regional Director and Director of Decent Work Technical support for the Arab States, Frank Hagemann.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency