The “Switzerland Agreement,” also known as the “Geneva Accords,” is an important political “mechanism that should be built on” to reach a just and lasting peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to a statement issued by the Palestinian People’s Party Oct. 29. The Accords, negotiated by former Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin and former Palestinian Authority Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo, are designed to compel Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the U.S. back to the official negotiations table. The Accords document, released Oct. 20, was reached through an unofficial collaboration between Israelis and Palestinians.

In its statement, the Palestinian People’s Party noted that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s government and the extreme right wing rejected the Accords, while there exists a growing opinion inside Israel that “this agreement can form a basis for a large unifying peace agenda” which includes Israelis who recognize “the heroic steadfastness of the Palestinian people and the impossibility of subjugating our people.” This reality sets in motion broad forces recognizing “the need to take the path of peace and negotiations.”

The PPP also said the agreement countered official arguments that the Palestinian people have no interest in achieving a peaceful solution to the crisis of occupation and cycle of violence. The PPP called for building on the agreement “within the framework of the Palestinian peace agenda,” while recognizing the agreement’s shortcomings. The PPP called for strengthening the demands regarding UN resolutions, including on Palestinian refugees’ right of return to their former lands.

The PPP said the agreement reinforces the concept that the Palestinian cause of statehood and the drive to end Israel’s illegal occupation are legitimate liberation struggles worthy of international support. The agreement, according to the PPP, prevents “Israel’s attempts to include the Palestinian problem within the general framework of ‘international terrorism,’ and turning it therefore into a security issue.”

The Palestinian People’s Party is an extension of the Communist movement in Palestine, which was formed in the mid-1920s. In 1987, the Palestinian Communist Party was designated as a full member of the PLO, becoming the first political party to be accepted in its entire status inside the PLO. The PCP changed its name to the Palestinian People’s Party in 1991. Its program includes unity of the Palestinian people to “end the Israeli occupation and remove the settlements from all territories occupied since June 1967, including Arab Jerusalem, and to secure the rights of Palestinian refugees in returning to their homes and properties and to establish the independent sovereign Palestinian state according to the UN resolutions.”

The PPP supports the internationally-recognized “legitimate right” to adopt “various forms of resistance”; it opposes terrorism and has “always called for halting the armed activities that target civilians.”

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