NSDL in cooperation with the Palestinian Center for Human Rights organized a panel discussion in October 12, 2008, on the controversy regarding the duration of the presidency in NSDL headquarter in Rafah. This panel comes within the project of a network of civil society institutions to strengthen the rule of law and protection of human rights in southern governorates (Rafah / Khan Younis), which was carried out by NSDL in collaboration with Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Germany.

The panel discussion was opened in the attendance of representatives of national forces and factions and deputies of the Legislative Council and legal and academic media figures by the president of NSDL, Ibrahim Muammar, who reviewed the contradictory positions that Fateh  and Hamas adhere over the term of the presidency.

In this term, the Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, the lawyer Raji Surani, pointed out that the existing political division was made on three components of the authority, judicial, legislative and executive, expressing his hope that the impasse is considered as a jump for the two parties to end the political crisis. From his point of view, Hamdi Shaqqura, the Manager of the democracy development in the center reviewed a paper has been prepared by the Center about the existing debate over the president’s term, highlighting the most prominent axes and stressing that the Center fully supports holding elections in the appropriate environment and appropriate conditions, warning of the risk of the Vice-President of the Legislative Council to take over the power if there isn’t any possible presidential elections as a result of the existing consolidation state of division.

From his point of view, Dr. Mohammed Hijazi, a member of the Legislative Council of Fateh movement, spoke seriously stressing on the importance of dialogue, and that democracy can not be achieved without unity and reconciliation calling not to separate between the presidency and legislature in order succeed the national reconciliation dialogue, warning Hamas movement by setting the Legislative Council president to took the Chair. Nafez Ghonim, a member of the Central Committee of the Al-Sha’b Party, stressed on the causes of division and discord, said that the reasons are political not legal, calling to deal with it politically and support the dialogue to be held in Cairo from the premise that the success of it and consensus, is the key to resolve the impasse, and asking the popular movement to compress and support the dialogue and push toward success. From his side, head of the nation’s Forum, Pro. Syed Barakah, commended the center paper, calling for unity and harmony and working to ensure the success of Cairo dialogue, as a historic opportunity and we are only going to worse in Iraq and Somalia. He also called on those outside Fateh and Hamas to raise the voice and to press towards the national reconciliation and to be witnesses to what will be.

Ziad Jrghon a member of the Central Committee of the Democratic party, spoke from his side warning from the consequences of failure to reach national consensus before the ninth of January 2009, calling on the claimant to go to support the formation of a national unity government to get out of this impasse, and stressing the importance of providing a public pressure to bring about national unity and stop the division.

The lawyer Ziad Abu Taha, emphasized that the crisis is a legally calling to catch with law and not leave it to politicians, and that the completion of a legal system must be strong and independent while providing security and protection. Mr. Ahmed Shaat, the director of the Reform Commission in Rafah, praised on the center paper calling the participants and attendees to sign a document which is emblem NO For Division and YES for Unity. the participants signed the document.

Rasmi Abul-Enein, a member of the National work stuff in Rafah, stressed that the dialogue and compromise are the only solution to the deadlock and that the only loser in the division is the Palestinian people and his national issue, and asked a more active role played by the masses against the division and for the benefit of dialogue.

Anwar Sheikh Al-eid, from facilitating the future association clarified that the division was made on all components and aspects of life, calling for an end to the current situation and the existing division.

At the end of the panel, lawyer Raji Surani, the  Director of Palestinian Center for Human Rights, who believed that bending neck the law arm and attempts to be hired is only part of the existing political impasse, and it is only a political problem and its manifestations are multiple, adding that the goal of putting the subject of controversy over the president’s term of office is to deliver a message that we are in front of a black hole we must not enter because it will lead us to further divide