Index

Full Text of Palestinian Draft Constitution

published in Al-Ayyam (Ramallah)
February 17, 2003


[FBIS Translated Text]     Preamble 

    On the land of the fathers and forefathers, the land of heavenly 
messages, and with heroic steadfastness in the place and across the time, 
the Palestinian Arab people preserved their national entity against the 
waves of invaders. Thus, Palestine became a melting pot for the clash of 
human civilizations, during which the Palestinians molded their cultural 
heritage on the basis of heavenly spiritual values and tolerance. 
Throughout their long history they fought, from one generation to 
another, a legendary struggle against the old and neo-world colonial 
powers. 

    The Palestinian people, out of faith in their eternal and sacred 
national rights in Palestine, as incarnated by their permanent attachment 
to the land of their fathers and forefathers, and while being conscious 
of the deep wound caused by the big powers to settle the Jewish question 
and partition the Middle East region, in which the Palestinians bore the 
brunt of the settlements that took place on the basis of the balance of 
power resulting from World War I to this day; 

    And, out of awareness of the rules of the evolution of history that 
govern the course of human conflict, and in defense of their continued 
existence on their land and the restoration of their national rights, the 
Palestinians accepted the peace option that would enable them to exercise 
their right to life on their land on an equal footing with other peoples 
of the civilized world, determine their own destiny on their land, and 
establish their independent state on it. 

    Thus, in accordance with the will of the Palestinian people wherever 
they exist, out of faith in their inalienable national rights and the 
restoration of these legitimate rights, and in recognition of the 
important developed role embodied by the PLO as their sole legitimate 
representative; and considering the nature of the future role, which 
calls for the representation of the Palestinians in the Diaspora in a 
constitutional institution until the settlement of everything related to 
the establishment of the Palestinian state so that the Palestinians in 
the Diaspora can take part through that constitutional institution in 
preserving their rights, enhancing their capabilities, developing 
themselves, determining their destiny; 

    For sake of all that this constitution for the State of Palestine 
came to bestow legality on the Palestinian state's institutions so that 
it can continue in its endeavor through its international relations to 
obtain world assistance in terminating the occupation and regaining the 
Palestinians' national and individual rights. 

    Therefore, we, the representatives of the Palestinian people, placing 
our trust in God and conscious of our spiritual and cultural role toward 
the followers of the heavenly messages throughout history, as truly 
certified by the Omarite Covenant, the symbol of Islamic-Christian 
tolerance, and our contribution to world peace while adhering to our 
right to life, progress, and the development of our natural rights and 
freedoms like all other peoples; and bearing in mind the interim 
international and Arab considerations, we establish the State of 
Palestine for all Palestinians on the firm foundations of democracy, good 
  governace, and a machinery of government, which is strong enough to 
strike a balance between maintaining the independence of the future 
Palestinian state and protecting it from external and internal dangers, a 
machinery that is capable of fulfilling its obligations and guaranteeing 
equal rights and freedoms for the people of Palestine. 

    In order to approve the constitution in a democratic manner, the 
legitimate institutions representing the Palestinian people at home and 
abroad shall adopt it after approving it, so that it will be put to the 
Palestinian people in a public referendum, and thus become the 
constitutional base for the modern State of Palestine in accordance with 
the following bases: 

    (A proposal to set the Declaration of Independence) 

    Chapter I: General Foundations of the State 

    Article 1 

    This constitution shall be called the constitution of the State of 
Palestine. It shall be based on the will of the Palestinian people and 
approved by the majority of the participants in the constitutional public 
referendum. 

    Article 2 

    The State of Palestine is an independent, sovereign republic. Its 
territory is an indivisible whole with its boundaries, as they existed on 
the eve of 4 June 1967, without violation of the rights acknowledged by 
the UN resolutions on Palestine. All residents on this territory shall be 
subject to the Palestinian law only and no other law. 

    An alternative proposal: 

    The State of Palestine is an independent, sovereign republic. Its 
territory is an indivisible whole within its recognized boundaries, which 
are based on international legitimacy represented by the UN resolutions. 
All residents on this territory shall be subject to Palestinian law only 
and no other law. 

    Article 3 

    Palestine is part of the Arab homeland. The State of Palestine shall 
abide by the Arab League Charter. The Palestinian people are part of the 
Arab and Islamic nations and Arab unity is an aim, which the Palestinian 
people shall strive to achieve. 

    Article 4 

    The State of Palestine is a peace-loving state. It believes in 
equality between peoples, repudiates aggression, and calls for settling 
international and regional problems by peaceful means. It also abides by 
the UN Charter. 

    Article 5 

    Arabic shall be the official language of the state. 

    Article 6 

    Jerusalem shall be the capital of the State of Palestine and the seat 
of its public authorities. 

    Article 7 

    Palestine's flag, motto, medals, seals, and national anthem shall be 
defined by law. 

    Article 8 

    Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Christianity and other 
heavenly messages shall have their sanctity and respect. The constitution 
shall guarantee equal rights and duties for all citizens, irrespective of 
their religious belief. 

    Article 9 

    The principles of the Islamic shari'a shall be a primary source for 
legislation. Followers of the heavenly messages may organize their 
personal conditions and religious affairs according to their religious 
laws and creeds in a manner that preserves the Palestinian people's unity 
and independence. 

    Article 10 

    The people are the source of authority. They shall exercise its 
powers directly through referendum, general elections, their elected 
representatives in the three government branches -- the legislative 
authority, the executive authority, and the judicial authority -- and 
their constitutional institutions. 

    Article 11 

    The relationship between the three public authorities shall be based 
on equality and independence in the exercise of their powers on the basis 
of relative separation of their functions with mutual cooperation and 
control between them. No authority shall exercise the powers that have 
been entrusted to another in accordance with constitutional rules. 

    Article 12 

    The Palestinian political system shall be a representative 
parliamentary democracy based on political party pluralism. It shall 
guarantee these rights and freedoms for the citizens without any 
discrimination. 

    Article 13 

    The principle of the rule of law and justice shall be the basis of 
governing in Palestine. All authorities, departments, organizations, 
institutions, and individuals shall be subject to the law. The state 
shall insure the protection of public rights and freedoms without any 
discrimination. 

    Article 14 

    A. All functions of the public authorities in the State of Palestine 
shall, in ordinary and extraordinary circumstances, be subject to 
administrative, political, legal, and judicial control. 

    B. Law provisions ban the immunity of any administrative function or 
decision from judicial control. 

    C. The state pledges to compensate damages caused by errors and 
dangers resulting from the functions and procedures carried out by state 
employees. 

    Article 15 

    There shall be no crime or punishment except as stipulated by law. A 
penalty can only be carried out according to a judicial ruling. A 
corporate or normal person is not immune to prosecution under the law and 
execution of court sentences. Judicial independence and immunity are two 
basic guarantees for protecting rights and freedoms. Violation of the 
dignity of the judiciary shall be punishable by law. 

    Article 16 

    Palestinian citizenship shall be organized by law without prejudicing 
the right of anyone who acquired it before 15 May 1948 in accordance with 
the law or the right of the Palestinian who was resident in Palestine 
before that date. This right is transmitted from fathers and mothers to 
their children. The right endures unless it is given up voluntarily. 

    It is impermissible to deprive the Palestinian of his citizenship. 
The law shall regulate the methods of acquiring and conceding it and the 
citizen's rights and obligations in the case of the multiplicity or lack 
of citizenship. 

    Article 17 

    A. The Palestinian's return to the State of Palestine and acquisition 
of its citizenship is a permanent right, which is inviolable and not 
subject to prescription. 

    B. The State of Palestine shall strive to fulfill the Palestinian 
refugees' right to repatriation and compensation through negotiations and 
political and legal means in accordance with UN Resolution 194 of 1948 
and the principles of international law. 

    Article 18 

    Natural resources in the State of Palestine are the property of the 
Palestinian people on which they shall exercise their sovereignty. The 
state shall abide by preserving them. It shall also issue a law, which 
will insure their exploitation in the best manner possible, while 
preserving the religious, environmental, and cultural heritage. 

    The protection and preservation of relics and historical places is a 
societal and official responsibility. It is forbidden to tamper with or 
damage them. Whoever encroaches on, damages, or sells the relics shall be 
punishable under the law. 

    Article 19 

    A clean, balanced environment is an aim, which the state seeks to 
achieve. Preservation of the Palestinian environment is an official and 
societal responsibility. 

    Article 20 

    The economic system in the State of Palestine shall be based on the 
principles of the free market. The law shall protect the freedom of 
economic activity while maintaining legitimate competition. It is 
permissible for the state to establish public companies organized by law. 

    Article 21 

    The state shall strive to achieve social, economic, and cultural 
development and scientific progress for the Palestinian people while 
bearing in mind the considerations of social justice. It shall take care 
of the special groups, especially those that suffered during the struggle 
to achieve the Palestinian national plan and establish the independent 
Palestinian state. 

    Article 22 

    The State of Palestine shall abide by the World Declaration of Human 
Rights and strive to join the other international conventions and pacts 
that guarantee human rights. 

    Chapter II: Public Rights, Freedoms, and Duties 

    Article 23 

    Palestinians are equal in public rights and duties before the law and 
justice. There is no discrimination between them due to race, sex, color, 
religion, political opinion, social origin, wealth, birthplace, or 
disability. 

    Article 24 

    The individual's basic rights and freedoms are inviolable and must be 
respected. The state shall guarantee religious, civil, political, 
economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as freedoms for all 
citizens under the principle of equality and equal opportunity. 

    Article 25 

    A. Every Palestinian of either sex, who has attained mature age and 
enjoys his civil and political rights, has the right to vote under the 
conditions stipulated in the law. 

    B. Whoever holds the Palestinian citizenship only, and no other 
citizenship, can nominate himself for the presidency or membership in the 
parliament. He can also assume a ministerial or judicial post. 

    Article 26 

    The woman has her legal status and independent financial right. She 
also has the same basic rights, freedoms, and duties as the man. 

    Article 27 

    The woman has the right to an active role in the social, political, 
cultural, and economic life. The law shall remove all restrictions that 
prevent her from taking part in building the family and society. 

    The woman's constitutional and legal rights are inviolable. The law 
punishes any violation of these rights and protects the woman's right to 
legal inheritance. 

    Article 28 

    The child has all the rights guaranteed under the Arab Charter on the 
Rights and Welfare of the Child, to which Palestine abides. 

    Article 29 

    A. The right to life is inviolable and protected by law. 

    B. Capital punishment shall only be carried out against crimes that 
are very dangerous to the security of society. 

    C. It is impermissible to issue the death sentence against a 
political crime unless it is linked to committing or attempting to commit 
murder. 

    D. The court alone shall issue the death sentence. The convicted 
person has the right to appeal before a higher judicial authority for 
pardon or commutation of the sentence. 

    Article 30 

    A. Every person has the right to personal safety. 

    B. It is banned to punish a person, hurt him physically or 
psychologically, treat him inhumanely, or subject him to a harsh, 
humiliating, or demeaning punishment. These acts or participation in them 
are consider a crime, which is punishable under the law and not subject 
to prescription. 

    C. Any confession that is proven to have been obtained under duress 
or serious threat cannot be considered as proof for conviction. Whoever 
obtains such confession by exploiting his authority shall be punishable 
under the law. 

    Article 31 

    A. It is forbidden to carry out scientific or medical experiments on 
anyone without his prior legal consent. It is impermissible to subject 
anyone to medical checkup, treatment, or a surgery except by law. 

    B. The law shall set forth the rules governing organ transplants and 
other innovations of scientific progress for legitimate humanitarian 
purposes. 

    Article 32 

    A. Every person has the right to freedom and personal safety. It is 
impermissible to encroach on this right except in the cases and according 
to the procedures stipulated in the law. 

    B. It is impermissible to arrest, search, imprison, or restrict the 
freedom of any person in any way except by orders of a competent judge or 
the public prosecution with the support of a legal warrant. This is 
essential for preserving the security of society. Whoever is subjected to 
such measures has the right to seek the assistance of an attorney. He 
must also be referred to the competent judicial quarter forthwith. The 
law shall define the conditions of precautionary remand. 

    C. Whoever is arrested, detained, or held without any legal reason 
has the right to compensation. 

    Article 33: 

    A. The accused is innocent until proven guilty in a fair trial, where 
he is guaranteed the right to defend himself. 

    B. The accused shall be given all the necessary guarantees to defend 
himself personally or through the assistance of an attorney of his choice 
in a public trial. The court shall provide him with an attorney to defend 
him if he cannot afford one. 

    Article 34 

    A. Prisoners and those, whose freedom has been restricted, shall be 
treated humanely to preserve their dignity. 

    B. The execution of sentences shall conform to the minimum level 
rules on the treatment of prisoners adopted by the United Nations. 

    C. The issuance and execution of sentences against juveniles should 
achieve the aim of their reform, education, and rehabilitation. 

    Article 35 

    Every citizen has the right to choose his place of residence and to 
move free within the State of Palestine. It is impermissible to prevent 
anyone from leaving Palestine except under a court order issued in 
accordance with the law. 

    Article 36 

    It is forbidden to deport a Palestinian from his country or deprive 
him of the right to return to it. The Palestinian shall not be extradited 
to a foreign country. 

    Article 37 

    It is forbidden to extradite a foreign political refugee, who enjoys 
the legal right of political asylum. Extradition of ordinary foreign 
defendants shall be in accordance with international agreements or pacts. 

    Article 38 

    A person shall not be deprived of his legal right of defense or basic 
rights and freedoms for political reasons. 

    Article 39 

    A. Litigation is a right guaranteed for every citizen by the state. 
Every individual has the right to resort to his attorney to protect his 
rights and freedoms and seek compensation for any encroachment on them. 

    B. The law organizes the procedures of litigation to insure 
expeditious settlement of cases without prejudicing the rights of the 
litigants. 

    C. In case of a judicial error the state is duty bound to compensate 
the aggrieved party. The law shall define the conditions and procedures. 

    Article 40 

    Punishment is personal. A person is not punished for the same crime 
more than once. Collective punished is forbidden. 

    Article 41 

    The principle of equating crime with punishment shall be considered. 
Punishment shall only be for actions subsequent to the enforcement of the 
law. The retroactivity of the law shall be considered in non-criminal 
cases. 

    Article 42 

    The private life of every person, including family privacy, sanctity 
of home, secrecy of correspondence, and other methods of private 
communication have their legal sanctity. It is impermissible to encroach 
on them except by legal order and within the bounds of the law. 

    Whatever violates the provisions of this law is null and void. 
Whoever suffers damages as a result of these measures has the right to 
compensation. 

    Article 43 

    Freedom of belief and practice of worship shall be guaranteed under 
the provisions of the constitution. The state shall guarantee access to 
holy places under its sovereignty under the constitution and the law. 

    The state shall guarantee for the followers of all heavenly messages 
the sanctity of their places of worship under the principles of the 
Omarite Covenant and Palestine's international obligations. 

    Article 44 

    There shall be no encroachment on the freedom of expression. Every 
person shall have the right to express his opinion and make it public by 
voice, print, art, or any other form of expression, while taking into 
consideration the provisions of the law. 

    It is impermissible for the law to lay down restrictions on the right 
of expression except in the narrowest limits to respect other people's 
rights and freedoms. 

    Article 45 

    The establishment of newspapers and ownership of all types of news 
media are a right for everyone guaranteed by the constitution. Their 
sources of funding shall be subject to legal control. 

    Article 46 

    A. The freedom of the news media, including press and publication and 
audio and video transmission, as well as of the workers in them shall be 
guaranteed and protected by the constitution and the relevant laws. 

    B. The news media shall practice their mission in freedom. They shall 
express the different opinions within the framework of the basic values 
of society, while preserving public rights, freedoms, and duties. 

    C. It is impermissible to subject news media to administrative 
control, disrupt them, or confiscate them except by a judicial ruling in 
implementation of the law. 

    Article 47 

    Journalists and citizens have the right of access to news and 
information with transparency and responsibility according to the 
conditions organized by the law. 

    Article 48 

    Every citizen has the right to live in a free, intellectual 
atmosphere, participate in cultural life, develop his intellectual and 
creative talents, enjoy the fruits of scientific and technological 
progress, and protect the moral and material rights devolving from any of 
his scientific, artistic, or literary works. 

    Article 49 

    A. Education is a right for the individual and society. It is 
compulsory for every citizen until the end of the elementary stage at 
least. It is guaranteed by the state in schools, institutes, and public 
institutions until the end of the secondary stage. 

    B. The law shall organize the method of state supervision of 
education, its performance and programs. 

    Article 50 

    Private education shall enjoy full freedom. Private schools, 
institutions, and educational centers shall abide by state curricula and 
plans. The law shall organize state supervision of its systems and 
programs. 

    Article 51 

    The state shall respect the independence of institutions, 
universities, and research centers, as well as their scientific 
objectives. It shall also supervise them to insure freedom of scientific 
research and creativity in all fields. The state shall encourage, assist, 
and protect them within the limits of its resources. 

    Article 52 

    The state shall organize social security services and old age and 
disability pensions. 

    The law shall organize the welfare of the families of martyrs and 
prisoners, as well as orphans, and look after the wounded in national 
struggle, and the needy. The state shall, within the limits of its 
resources, guarantee them education, health and social insurance services 
and give them priority in job opportunities in accordance with the law. 

    Article 53 

    The state shall, within the limits of its resources, guarantee health 
insurance as a right for the individual and an interest for society. It 
shall also guarantee basic health care for those who cannot afford it. 

    Article 54 

    A. The state shall guarantee the welfare of the family, motherhood, 
and childhood and look after the welfare of children and youths. The law 
shall organize the rights of the child, the mother, and the family in 
conformity with the provisions of international agreements and the Arab 
Charter for the Welfare and Rights of the Child. 

    B. The state shall strive in particular to protect children from 
harm, abuse, and exploitation. It shall also avoid any harm to their 
safety, health, and education. 

    Article 55: [not published] 

    Article 56: Every Palestinian citizen shall enjoy the public rights 
and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. The laws shall regulate them 
on the basis of equality so as to enable the citizen to participate in 
political life directly, whether in his individual capacity or through a 
political party or democratic civil society organizations. 

    Article 57 

    Every Palestinian citizen has the right to express his opinion in 
referendums and elections. He also has the right to nominate himself or 
another person, provided he meets the nomination conditions in accordance 
with the rules of the constitution and the provisions of the law. 

    Article 58 

    The parliament shall endeavor through its legislative policy to 
encourage democratic participation by the people's factions and insure 
greater democratic participation by the Palestinian society. 

    Article 59 

    Every citizen shall have the right to participate in political 
activities in an individual or collective capacity. Citizens shall enjoy 
the following rights and freedoms: 

    A. Forming, joining, or withdrawing from political parties in 
accordance with the law. 

    B. Forming, joining, or withdrawing from unions, societies, 
federations, leagues, forums, clubs, and institutions in accordance with 
the law. The law shall organize the procedures on the acquisition of 
their corporate status. 

    C. Nominating, voting, and expressing opinion in public referendums 
in accordance with the law. 

    Article 60 

    A. Every individual shall enjoy the right to hold private meetings 
without the presence of policemen, as long as they do not violate the 
law. 

    B. Every individual has the right to hold public meetings and stage 
demonstrations with others in a peaceful manner and without bearing arms. 
It is impermissible to set restrictions on these two freedoms. The 
exception are those restrictions, which are enforced by law and 
constitute essential measures in a democratic society that upholds the 
rights and freedoms stipulated in the constitution. 

    Article 61 

    Every citizen has the right to address the public authorities and 
submit petitions and complaints in writing and with his signature on 
them. 

    Article 62 

    It is impermissible to disrupt any of the basic rights and freedoms. 
The law shall specify the rights and freedoms that can be restricted 
temporarily in extraordinary circumstances and on matters relating to 
public safety and national security. 

    Arbitrariness in the exercise of right or authority is punishable by 
law. 

    Article 63 

    Any attack on the basic public rights and freedoms guaranteed by the 
constitution and the law is a crime and the resulting criminal or civil 
case shall not be subject to prescription. The state shall guarantee fair 
compensation for the aggrieved party. 

    Article 64 

    The state is responsible for the security of individuals and their 
property. It shall guarantee the protection of the citizen's rights at 
home and abroad. 

    Article 65 

    A. Defense of the homeland is a sacred duty and its service is an 
honor for the citizens. National service shall be organized by law. 

    B. It is impermissible for individuals and groups to obtain, carry, 
or possess arms in violation of the provisions of the law organizing such 
activities. 

    Article 66 

    Payment of taxes and public dues is a duty organized by law. 

    Article 67 

    Public property is inviolable. The law shall guarantee its protection 
in the service of the public interest. 

    Article 68 

    The law shall organize the Awqaf Department and manage its property 
and funds. 

    Article 69 

    A. Private property is inviolable. The rights devolving from it shall 
be exercised in a manner that does not violate the public interest. They 
shall only be withdrawn or seized in the public interest and in 
accordance with the law in return for a fair compensation. 

    B. Private property can be seized by a court ruling only. 

    C. Public seizure of the right of ownership is forbidden. 

    Article 70 

    The law shall organize real estate ownership by foreigners. 

    Article 71 

    A. Employment is the right of every citizen. The state shall endeavor 
to insure job opportunities for those who cannot find jobs through its 
development plans and by supporting the private sector. 

    B. The laws shall organize labor relations to insure justice for all 
parties and welfare and security for workers. It is impermissible to 
enforce any job on citizens. The law shall organize compulsory work 
through a fair compensation. 

    C. It is permissible to form professional societies. 

    D. The law shall insure the protection of the child to prevent his 
exploitation in jobs that could hurt him and are not consistent with the 
provisions of international charters for childhood rights. 

    Article 72 

    The right to protest and go on strike shall be exercised within the 
bounds of the law. 

    Article 73 

    Every citizen has an equal right to public jobs on the basis of 
qualification, competence, and equal opportunities in accordance with the 
rules of the law organizing public jobs. 

    Article 74 

    An independent public organization shall be established by law. The 
organization, which shall consist of judicial, political, and official 
figures known for their credibility and belief in citizens' rights and 
desire to defend these rights, shall perform the following functions: 

    -   Observe the status of citizens' rights and freedoms. It can in 
this capacity obtain information with responsibility and transparency. 

    -   Prevent the use of information received for purposes than those 
stated in the law on its establishment. 

    -   Receive complaints against state agencies that encroach on 
citizens' basic rights and freedoms. 

    -   Make suggestions for improving the performance of state agencies 
to guarantee the protection of citizens' rights and freedoms. It may also 
present proposals and reports on its control and development activities 
to parliament and the president of the state. 

    Chapter III: Public Authorities 

    Article 75 

    National sovereignty is the people's right and source of authority. 
The people shall exercise its powers directly through referendum, general 
elections, or their elected representatives in the three public 
authorities -- the legislative authority, the executive authority, and 
the judicial authority -- and constitutional institutions. 

    No individual or group can claim for itself the exclusive right to 
exercise these authorities. 

    Article 76 

    The relationship between the three public authorities is based on 
equality and independence in the exercise of their powers on the basis of 
relative separation of their functions, cooperation and mutual control 
between them. No authority has the right to exercise the powers invested 
in another authority under the rules of the constitution. 

    Section One: The Legislative Authority -- The House of 
Representatives 

    Article 77 

    The House of Representatives shall assume legislative authority and 
approve policies, plans, and the state budget, which shall be prepared by 
cabinet. It shall also exercise control on the work of the executive 
authority in the manner stated in the constitution. 

    Article 78 

    The House of Representatives shall consist of 150 deputies 
representing the Palestinian people. They shall be elected in accordance 
with the provisions of the constitution. Nomination for membership in the 
House of Representatives shall in accordance with the provisions 
stipulated in the constitution and the Electoral Law. 

    The nominee for the House of Representatives must be Palestinian, who 
does not hold another citizenship. 

    Article 79 

    Members of the House of Representatives are elected for a five-year 
term. They may be re-elected more than once. It is impermissible to 
extend the term of the House of Representatives except in the case of 
necessity and by a law approved by two-third majority of the house 
members. 

    Article 80 

    The House of Representatives shall be based in the capital of the 
State of Palestine, Jerusalem. It is possible to hold its sessions in 
other places at the request of the majority of house members. 

    Article 81 

    The House of Representatives shall in the first meeting of every 
annual session elect a speaker, two deputy speakers, and a secretary 
general by secret ballot. They shall form the house presidency. It is 
impermissible for members of the house presidency to assume a ministry or 
any other government post. 

    It is permissible for a house member to assume a ministerial post, 
provided parliamentary ministers in the government do not exceed 50 
percent of all ministers. 

    Article 82 

    The opening meeting of the ordinary session of the House of 
Representatives shall not be deemed to have attained a quorum except with 
the presence of its speaker or his legal representative and a majority of 
at least two thirds of the house members. Subsequent meetings of the 
ordinary session of the House of Representatives shall be deemed legal 
with the attendance of the speaker or his legal representative and the 
absolute majority of the house members. The president of the state shall 
open the first ordinary session of the House of Representatives and 
deliver the opening speech. 

    Article 83 

    Before the House of Representatives assumes its constitutional tasks 
in its first session following the election of its presidency, the house 
members shall take the following oath: 

    "I swear to God Almighty that I will be faithful to the homeland, 
preserve the rights and interests of the people and the nation, respect 
the constitution and the law, and carry out my duties sincerely. God be 
my witness." 

    Article 84 

    The House of Representatives shall, at the request of its speaker, 
convene every year in an ordinary session with two four-month terms. The 
first term shall begin in the first week of March, and the second shall 
meet in the first week of September. 

    The president of the state, or the speaker of the House of 
Representatives, or two thirds of the house members can call the house to 
an emergency meeting when it is not in an ordinary session. 

    Article 85 

    The House of Representatives may contest the representative capacity 
of   any member before the Constitutional Court, which shall decide on 
the issue in accordance with the law regulating   the membership. 

    A representative who does not meet the conditions of qualification 
for his election in the house or loses them risks forfeiting his 
membership in the house. The forfeiture calls for a house decision with 
the approval of two thirds of the members. 

    Article 86 

    If one or more seats in the house become vacant due to death, 
resignation, or loss of qualification before the end of the house's term 
by at least six months, by-elections shall be held in the constituency 
concerned within a month from the time the post becomes vacant. The law 
shall define the conditions leading to the loss of qualification. 

    Article 87 

    The sessions of the House of Representative are held in public. It is 
permissible through a decision by the majority of those present to hold 
the session in camera. 

    Article 88 

    The House of Representatives shall, by law, approve its bylaws, which 
will set the procedures for the performance of its legislative and 
control duties and the procedures for questioning its members within the 
bounds of its powers, as long as they do not conflict with the provisions 
of the constitution. 

    Article 89 

    The speaker of the House of Representatives or one fifth of its 
members have the right to propose draft laws. Any motion that does not 
have the approval of the required majority shall not be presented for 
discussion in the same session except after obtaining the approval of a 
two-third majority in the house. 

    Article 90 

    Decisions in the House of Representatives, including the approval of 
draft laws and the draft annual budget, shall be made by the majority 
vote of those present, except in the cases that demand a special majority 
for their approval. 

    Article 91 

    The House of Representatives shall approve the general development 
plan and the law shall determine the method of its preparation and 
presentation to the house. 

    Article 92 

    The House of Representatives shall approve international agreements 
and treaties, which the State of Palestine concludes or joins, with the 
approval of the majority of the house members. They shall be effective as 
of their publication in the Official Gazette. 

    Article 93 

    The House of Representatives shall begin the procedure of 
promulgating laws by referring every draft law to the competent committee 
or committees. It shall then discuss the draft law and vote on it in 
three readings. The house's bylaws shall define the procedures for 
discussing and approving draft laws. 

    Article 94 

    The laws approved by the House of Representatives and endorsed by the 
president become effective 30 days after the date of their publication in 
the Official Gazette, unless the constitution or the law set another 
date. 

    Article 95 

    The laws shall be published in the Official Gazette within 30 days: 

    -   From their endorsement by the president; or 

    -   From their endorsement by the president after being returned to 
him and approved by the House of Representatives again by a majority of 
two thirds in the case of the president's objection to them; or 

    -   Within a month from the house's request for their publication in 
the Official Gazette. They shall then be considered issued by force of 
the constitution. 

    Article 96 

    The House of Representatives may form special temporary committees or 
entrust one of its standing committees to investigate any public issue   
pertaining to the activity of any of the state agencies, which under its 
control. 

    The committee may collect evidence from and hear the testimony of 
anyone.   It may also examine documents, obtain statements from all 
quarters, and submit its report to the house so that it can make the 
appropriate decision on it. 

    Article 97 

    The House of Representatives alone has the right to maintain peace 
and order within parliamentary buildings and utilities and during its 
sessions and committee meetings. It shall have its special guard under 
the command of   its speaker. Security men and any other armed force have 
no right to enter or station themselves in the parliament or its 
utilities except at the request of the house speaker. 

    Article 98 

    Every house member has the right to address questions and seek 
clarifications from the prime minister or any of his deputies, or any of 
the ministers and their assistants on any subject that falls within their 
competence. The member has the right to obtain answers to his questions 
and queries in accordance with the procedures defined by the house 
bylaws. 

    Article 99 

    Every house member has the right to direct an interpellation to the 
prime minister or any of his deputies or any of the ministers and their 
assistants or those under their direct supervision on any subject that 
falls within their competence. It is impermissible to discuss the 
interpellation before one week after its submission, unless the addressee 
is willing to reply or discuss within a lesser period. The period may be 
reduced by a house decision in case of urgency. 

    Article 100 

    A. After interpellation, ten house members may request the following: 
i) Censure the minister or the cabinet. ii) Withdraw confidence in the 
minister or the cabinet according to the circumstances. 

    B. Voting may not take place until three days at least from the date 
of the request was made. The decision to withdraw confidence shall be 
made with the approval of the majority of house members. 

    Article 101 

    If the house majority agreed to withdraw confidence in the prime 
minister or more than one third of the cabinet, the cabinet shall be 
considered as having resigned. It shall continue to dispose of its 
executive functions until a new cabinet has been formed and won the 
confidence of the house in accordance with the provisions of the law. 

    If the majority of the house members approved the withdrawal of 
confidence in the minister, then he must resign. 

    Article 102 

    The president of the state may when necessary dissolve the House of 
Representatives after consultation with the prime minister and the 
speaker. If the president decides to dissolve it, he will issue the 
dissolution decision, which will include a call for holding new 
parliamentary elections on the dates and in accordance with the 
procedures defined by the Electoral Law. The house shall continue to 
exercise its powers until the election of a new house. 

    It is impermissible for the president of the state to dissolve the 
House of Representatives during the first year of its formation or during 
the period of the declaration of a state of emergency, as defined in the 
constitution. 

    Article 103 

    The president of the state shall call for parliamentary elections 
before the end of the house's legal term on the dates and in accordance 
with the procedures organized by law. 

    If the president does not call for elections during the 
aforementioned period, the speaker shall ask the Constitutional Court to 
call for elections. 

    If it is impossible to hold elections on the set date due to a state 
of war, an imminent war, or siege preventing the functions of the 
constitutional institutions, the house shall continue to exercise its 
duties until the elections become opportune within 60 days after the 
removal of the impediment. 

    Article 104 

    The house may through a decision made by two thirds of its members 
direct the charge of high treason or violation of the constitution to the 
president of the before the Constitutional Court. 

    Leveling charges against the prime minister and minister before the 
courts shall be in accordance with the existing legal procedures and on 
the basis of a decision made by a two-third majority of the House of 
Representatives. 

    The Competence of the House of Representatives on Financial laws 

    Article 105 

    The law shall set forth the provisions for government drafting and 
approval of the budget and disposal of appropriated funds, the attached 
development budgets, the budgets of state organizations and corporations, 
and the projects in which the public sector subscribes not less than 50 
percent of the capital. 

    Article 106 

    The government shall submit the draft annual budget to the House of 
Representatives two months before the beginning of the Fiscal Year. The 
house shall hold a special session to discuss the draft annual budget. 

    Discussion and voting shall be conducted on the clauses and chapters 
of the budget and also on the entire budget so that it may be approved or 
returned to the government with comments so that the requested 
requirements may be completed within one month. It shall then be returned 
to the House of Representatives for approval, prior to its issuance by 
the president of the state. 

    The House of Representatives shall ratify the annual budget within 75 
days from the date of its presentation according to the previous 
paragraph. 

    Article 107 

    It is impermissible during the discussion of the draft budget to levy 
taxes, amend tax laws, or make an increase in estimates of expenditures 
and revenues. 

    Article 108 

    The law may stipulate the appropriation of funds for more than one 
year when necessary, or if long-term plans so demand, provided the 
special appropriations for these plans are included in subsequent budgets 
or an exceptional budget is made for them for more than one Fiscal Year. 

    Article 109 

    It is impermissible to transfer funds between the chapters of the 
budget except with the approval of the House of Representatives. 

    Article 110 

    As an exception to the norm of budgeting annually, and in case of a 
delay of more than one month in approving the budget, it is permissible 
with the approval of the House of Representatives to designate specific 
sums as monthly allocations at the ratio of 1:12 of the amount of the 
previous budget until the issuance of the new budget law. 

    Article 111 

    The government must present the final accounting of the budget to the 
House of Representative within a period of not more than six months from 
the date of the end of the Fiscal Year. 

    Article 112 

    The appropriation and expenditure of public funds shall only be by 
law. The law shall define the rules of granting the wages, remuneration, 
allowances, and rewards approved for the state treasury and the quarters, 
which shall carry them out. It is impermissible to expend any exceptional 
sums except within the limits fixed by the law. 

    Article 113 

    Imposition, amendment, or annulment of taxes shall be by law. Taxes 
and fees shall be deposited in the public treasury. They shall be 
disposed of in accordance with the provisions of the law. Taxes shall not 
be exempted except in the cases specified by law. Taxes shall be imposed 
and disposed of while taking equality and social justice into 
consideration. 

    Article 114 

    The law shall set the rules for contracting loans, the special 
procedures on granting concessions and encouraging foreign investments, 
and the obligations pertaining to exploitation of natural resources and 
public utilities. 

    The Rights, Immunities, and Duties of the Representatives 

    Article 115 

    The financial remuneration granted to the house member, including 
rewards and allowances shall be in accordance with the law. Amendments 
made by the house are only applicable to members of the house that 
replaced the one that made those amendments. 

    Article 116 

    It is impermissible to infringe on the immunity of house members 
during their term of representation. It is also impermissible to subject 
them to any civil or criminal interrogation for expressing their 
opinions, stating facts, or voting in a particular way in the house 
sessions, in its committees, or outside parliament in implementation of 
their representative duties. 

    Article 117 

    It is impermissible to ask a house member to testify on a matter 
related to any of his actions or statements or information he obtained as 
a member during his term or after it, except with his consent and the 
prior approval of the house. 

    Article 118 

    It is impermissible to subject a house member to any criminal 
investigation procedures or to refer him to court unless the house has 
agreed with the consent of the majority of its members to lift the 
immunity on the member. Or the member has clearly given up his immunity 
before the house. 

    In case the member is caught committing an act, which is considered a 
crime under the Penal Code, the house body shall be immediately notified 
and the house shall make sure that the measures taken against the member 
are sound. 

    If the house is not in session the speaker's approval must be 
obtained and the house shall be informed in the first session it convenes 
on the criminal measures that have been taken against the member. 

    Article 119 

    The house member is responsible before his colleagues who could 
request that he be deprived of his representative capacity if he 
committed a misdemeanor. If the house approves of the request by a 
majority vote the matter shall be referred to the Constitutional Court, 
which would consider the request of dismissing the member. 

    The house bylaws shall define the conditions under which the house 
member may face dismissal and the necessary procedures for the approval 
of the majority of the house members to refer the dismissal request to 
the Constitutional Court. Notwithstanding the questioning stipulated in 
the laws concerning the legal violations, which have been committed by 
the house member. 

    Article 120 

    It is impermissible for the member to relinquish immunity without 
prior approval of the house. Immunity does not cease at the end of 
membership for those statements or actions covered during his enjoyment 
of the membership. 

    Article 121 

    It is impermissible for the house member to assume during his 
membership any public or private post, or conduct any commercial or 
industrial business. It is also impermissible for him to purchase or 
lease any public property, sell or barter any of his property to the 
state, or conclude any deal with it in the capacity of a commission 
agent, importer, or contractor. 

    The law shall preserve the posts and businesses of those who are 
employed by the state and who win membership in the House of 
Representatives. 

    The House of Representatives makes the decision on the applications 
for resignation by its members. The house bylaws determine the conditions 
under which the House of Representatives can accept the resignation of 
any of its members. 

    Article 122 

    Each member of the house, during the first month of his first term of 
membership, must present a statement   of personal finances for him, his 
spouse, and his minor children on the movable and immovable property they 
own inside and outside Palestine, and whatever credit debts that are due 
on them. The statements shall be kept with the Constitutional Court. 

    The National Consultative Council 

    Article 123 

    A National Consultative Council consisting of 150 members shall be 
established in accordance with the constitution. It shall enjoy an 
independent status and its composition shall take into consideration the 
ratios of population distribution inside and outside Palestine. The law 
shall regulate the methods of electing and appointing its members 
according to their places residence. 

    It is permissible for the president of the state to appoint in the 
National Consultative Council a maximum number of 10 members who do not 
hold the Palestinian citizenship in appreciation of the great services 
they have rendered to the Palestine question. 

    Article 124 

    The National Consultative Council shall exercise the following 
powers: 

    -   Study general strategic issues and make suggestions on them. 

    - Submit proposals on everything pertaining to national rights, 
Palestinian territorial integrity, and the rights of Palestinians abroad. 

    -   Discuss constitutional amendments and express an opinion on those 
proposed. 

    -   Discuss the topics that the president of the state refers to the 
council concerning the Palestinian state's general policy on Arab and 
foreign affairs. 

    -   Discuss the draft laws that the president of the state refers to 
the council concerning Palestinians abroad. 

    -   Discuss what the council members decide to include in the agenda 
for discussion. 

    Article 125 

    The National Consultative Council shall refer its decisions and 
recommendations to the president of the state, who will order their 
publication in the Official Gazette, as well as the prime minister and 
the speaker of the House of Representatives. 

    Section Two: The Executive Authority 

    Article 126 

    Executive authority shall be assumed by the president of the state 
and the cabinet, which will consist of the prime minister and ministers. 
The executive authority shall be concerned with laying down the general 
policies, plans, and programs, which are approved by the House of 
Representatives. The government shall be granted confidence on their 
basis and it shall implement them under the supervision of the president 
of the state and the control of the House of Representatives. 

    First: The President of the State 

    Article 127 

    The president of the state is the president of the republic. He shall 
defend the constitution and the unity of the people. He shall guarantee 
the continued existence of the state and national independence. He also 
shall guarantee the good conduct of the public authorities and exercise 
his powers. His responsibilities shall be defined according to the 
provisions of the constitution. 

    Other than the powers assigned to the president of the state under 
the constitution, the government's executive and administrative powers 
shall be among the prerogatives of the Council of Ministers. 

    Article 128 

    The candidate for the post of president of the state must hold the 
Palestinian leadership only. He must not be below the age of 40 on the 
day of nomination and he must be enjoying his civil and political rights. 

    Article 129 

    The president of the state shall be elected directly by the people 
for a five-year term, which may be renewed once. The Electoral Law shall 
define the conditions that must be fulfilled by the candidate for the 
presidency. 

    Article 130 

    The president-elect shall assume his duties immediately upon the 
conclusion of his predecessor's term. 

    The president shall, before assuming his duties, take the following 
constitutional oath before the House of Representatives in the presence 
of the president of the Supreme Judicial Council: 

    "I swear by God Almighty to be faithful to the homeland and its holy 
places, people, and national heritage, respect the constitution and the 
law, and take full care of the Palestinian people's interests. God be my 
witness." 

    Article 131 

    The president of state shall be the commander in chief of the 
Palestinian National Security Forces. 

    Article 132 

    The president of the state shall represent it in foreign affairs 
directly or through the authorization of a minister concerned with 
foreign affairs, or whomever he deems competent. He shall approve and 
direct foreign policy. 

    Article 133 

    The president of the state shall appoint the ambassadors and 
representatives of the State of Palestine in foreign countries and 
regional and international organizations. He shall also terminate their 
missions with the recommendation of the minister in charge of foreign 
affairs. He shall accept the credentials of the representatives of 
foreign countries and international, and regional organizations in the 
State of Palestine. 

    Article 134 

    The president of the state shall submit a statement of personal 
finances for him, his wife (spouse), and his minor children for the 
movable and immovable property they own or any credits or debts inside 
and outside Palestine. The statement shall be kept with the 
Constitutional Court. 

    Article 135 

    The remuneration of the president of the state shall be determined by 
law. 

    Article 136 

    The office of the president shall be considered vacant: 

    A. With death or 

    B. With resignation if accepted by the House of Representatives with 
the majority of two thirds of its members, or 

    C. With the loss of competency or inability to exercise the 
constitutional duties under a decision to be issued by the Constitutional 
Court at the request of two thirds of the members of the House of 
Representatives. 

    Article 137 

    If the office of the president of the state becomes vacant or the 
House of Representatives decides to indict him under Article 143, the 
speaker of the House of Representatives shall temporarily assume the 
presidency for a period of not more than 60 days, during which 
presidential elections shall be held in accordance with the Electoral 
law. 

    If the speaker of the House of Representatives wishes to run for 
election or is prevented from assuming the presidency for any legal 
reason, the head of the Constitutional Court shall assume the presidency 
temporarily until the election of the president has been completed. The 
head of the court may not run for election. 

    Article 138 

    The president of the state shall entrust the cabinet with drafting 
public policy, which shall be referred to the House of Representatives 
for discussion and approval. 

    Article 139 

    The president of the state shall appoint the prime minister from the 
party with the largest number of seats in the House of Representatives 
after holding consultations with the leaders of the parliamentary blocs. 

    The President's Relationship with the Public Authorities 

    Article 140 

    The president of the state may submit draft laws to the House of 
Representatives and address the house without discussion. 

    Article 141 The president of the state shall endorse laws after their 
approval by the House of Representatives within 30 days from the date of 
their referral to him. He shall order their issuance. 

    Article 142 

    The president of the state may object to a draft law approved by the 
House of Representatives and request its reconsideration. He shall back 
his request with the reasons for his objection within 30 days from the 
date it is returned to him. Otherwise, it will be considered as a 
promulgated law and effective as of the date of its publication in the 
Official Gazette, unless the law specifies another date for its 
enforcement. 

    Article 143 

    If the president of the state does not order the issuance of the law, 
or does not return it to the House of Representatives within 30 days from 
the date of its communication to him, it shall be considered as a 
promulgated law. 

    If the president of the state returns the draft law, which has been 
approved by the House of Representative within the legal period, and it 
is again approved by the house with a two-third majority it shall be 
considered as promulgated. 

    Article 144 

    The president of the state shall approve treaties and communicate 
them to the House of Representatives backed with suitable clarification. 
It shall have the force of law once ratified by the Council of Ministers 
and published in the Official Gazette. 

    Treaties and agreements that burden the state treasury with 
expenditures that are not sanctioned in the budget, or burden citizens 
with obligations contrary to existing laws, shall not be effective until 
the House of Representatives agrees to adopt them by law. 

    As to treaties that infringe on the independence of the state or its 
territorial integrity, they shall not be effective except after holding 
public referendums on them. 

    Article 145 

    The president of the state has the right to grant a personal pardon 
on or commute a penalty. As to general amnesty, it can only be granted by 
law. 

    Article 146 

    The president of the state may establish advisory councils from 
persons with qualifications, specialization, and expertise in order to 
benefit from their opinions and national capabilities. 

    Article 147 

    The president of the state shall make appointments at higher civilian 
and military posts with the recommendation of the Council of Ministers. 

    The President's Legislative Authorities in a State of Emergency 

    Article 148 

    The president of the state may declare a state of emergency in 
consultation with the speaker of the House of Representatives if the 
security of the country is exposed to the danger of war, natural 
disasters, or siege, threatening the safety of society and the continued 
functioning of its constitutional institutions. This is if the emergency 
measures are essential to restore public order and the orderly function 
of the state authorities and face the disasters and the siege. This shall 
be for a period of not more than 30 days, which may be renewed with the 
approval of two thirds of the members of the House of Representatives. 
The state of war is an exception. 

    In all cases, the declaration of the state of emergency must state 
the aim, the region, and the timeframe. 

    Article 149 

    The president of the state may after declaring a state of emergency, 
and if there is need to take measures in face of certain sudden 
developments that cannot stand any delay, may issue decrees with the 
force of law. These decrees shall be referred to the House of 
Representatives in its first meeting after the declaration of the state 
of emergency, or in any session to extend the state of emergency, 
whichever comes first, in order to approve them. Otherwise, they shall 
lose the force of law retroactively. If the House of Representatives does 
not approve them, the decrees shall lose their legal effect and the house 
shall determine the method of dealing with their effects without harming 
other people's material rights. 

    Article 150 

    It is impermissible during a state of emergency to impose 
restrictions on basic rights and duties except in the necessary degree in 
order to preserve the country general safety. 

    All the decisions and actions, which the president and his cabinet 
has taken in a state of emergency shall be subject to legal review. The 
competent court shall begin considering the complaints submitted to it 
within a period of not more than three days. 

    Article 151 

    It is impermissible to dissolve or disrupt the House of 
Representatives during a state of emergency. 

    Article 152 

    Charging the president of the state with high treason, violation of 
the constitution, or perpetration of crime shall be on the basis of a 
proposal made by two thirds of the members of the House of 
Representatives. The bill of indictment shall only be issued if approved 
by a two-third majority in the House of Representatives. 

    As soon as the bill of indictment is issued the president shall stop 
performing his duties. His impeachment shall be before the Constitutional 
Court. 

    Second: The Council of Ministers 

    Article 153 

    The Council of Ministers shall consist of the prime minister and a 
number of ministers to be determined by law. Half of them shall be from 
the elected members of House of Representatives. 

    Article 154 

    The Council of Ministers shall assume implementation of the public 
policies and plans approved by the House of Representatives according to 
the provisions of the constitution. 

    The Prime Minister 

    Article 155 

    Power shall be vested in the prime minister in accordance with the 
joint will of the president of the state and the House of 
Representatives. The president of the state shall make the nomination and 
the House of Representatives shall by two thirds of its members approve 
the formation of the Council of Ministers and its programs. 

    Article 156 

    The prime minister and minister must hold the Palestinian citizenship 
only and no other citizenship. He must also be at least 35 years of age 
and enjoys all his civil and political rights. 

    Article 157 

    The Prime minister shall form the Council of Ministers and mention in 
the formation he presents to the president of the state the ministry 
entrusted to each minister. 

    The prime minister shall present the members of his government and 
program to the parliament to obtain confidence. 

    Article 158 

    The prime minister shall present his government's program for debate 
by the House of Representatives. The prime minister may adjust his 
government program in light of the house debate and the decisions it may 
take on it. 

    If the prime minister rejects the amendments requested by the House 
of Representatives he shall submit his resignation to the president of 
the state. The president shall then nominate a new prime minister, who 
will present himself, his ministers, and government program to the House 
of Representatives to obtain confidence according to the provisions of 
the constitution. 

    Article 159 

    If the prime minister fails to obtain the confidence of the House of 
Representatives he shall apologize to the president for not being able to 
form the cabinet. The president shall then hold new consultations in 
order to choose a new prime minister. 

    Article 160 

    It is impermissible for the prime minister or minister to exercise 
the duties of his post before obtaining the confidence of the House of 
Representatives. This shall be in the first session after the formation 
of the Council of Ministers and hearing its statement, programs, and 
policy, and discussing and approving them, or the session following the 
appointment of the new minister. 

    Article 161 

    The prime minister shall oversee the work of the ministers. Each 
minister shall be responsible to the Council of Ministers in accordance 
with the procedures set forth by the rules of the constitution. 

    The prime minister and ministers are responsible individually and 
collectively for the work of the government before the House of 
Representatives. 

    Article 162 

    When carrying out a cabinet reshuffle, or adding a minister, or   
filling a vacancy for any reason, the new ministers must be presented 
before the House of Representatives in the first session it holds for a 
vote of confidence. If the number of ministers covered by the reshuffle 
is more than one third of the Council of Ministers, the vote of 
confidence must be on the whole cabinet. 

    It is impermissible for any minister to exercise the duties of his 
post before obtaining confidence from the House of Representatives. 

    Article 163 

    Upon obtaining the confidence the prime minister and ministers shall 
take the following constitutional oath before the president of the state 
and the House of Representatives in a joint parliamentary session: 

    "I swear to God Almighty God that I shall be faithful the homeland, 
preserve the rights of the people and the interests of the nation, 
respect the constitution and the law, and discharge my duties sincerely. 
God be my witness." 

    Article 164 

    The Council of Ministers shall meet regularly at the request of the 
prime minister. The president of the state has the right to call the 
council to a meeting and preside over the session he attends. 

    Article 165 

    The Council of Ministers shall assume the following powers: 

    -   Designing public policy within the bounds of its competence in 
light of the government program approved by the House of Representatives. 

    -   Implementing approved public policy and laws and regulations, 
guaranteeing their respect, and proposing new draft laws. 

    -   Preparing the draft general budget, which shall be presented to 
the House of Representatives for approval. 

    -   Organizing, supervising, and following up state departments, 
institutions, and agencies at their various levels. 

    -   Observing the performance of the ministries, departments, 
institutions, and agencies and supervising their work. 

    -   Discussing the proposals and plans of each ministry as well as 
its policy in the execution of its competencies. 

    -   Approving the organization of administrative formations. 

    -   Issuing the organizational decrees and the necessary regulations 
for the procedures of executing laws and the regulations for the control 
and organization of public departments and utilities. 

    -   Appointing civilian and military employees below the super grade 
at the recommendation of the competent minister and on the basis of the 
law. 

    -   Any other powers entrusted to it in accordance with the 
provisions of the constitution and the laws. 

    Article 166 

    The law regulating the work of the executive authority shall 
establish standing committees in the Council of Ministers and choose from 
their chairmen two deputy prime ministers. 

    Article 167 

    The Council of Ministers may issue the decrees necessary for the 
implementation of its powers. 

    Article 168 

    The prime minister shall implement the laws and coordinate the 
government policies and programs that are ratified by the House of 
Representatives. 

    Article 169 

    The prime minister shall exercise the following powers: 

    -   Presiding over the cabinet meetings with the exception of the 
sessions that are attended by the president of the state. 

    -   Representing the cabinet before the president of the state and 
the other public authorities. 

    -   Following up on the implementation of laws and regulations. 

    -   Ordering the publication of the laws that are approved by the 
House of Representatives in accordance with the procedures and dates set 
forth in the provisions of the constitution and the laws. 

    -   Signing executive and organizational decrees. 

    -   Following up on the proper administration of state departments. 

    -   Coordinating government work. 

    -   Proposing draft laws. 

    -   Approving appointments in the posts of all the ministries at the 
lower level of the super grade at the recommendation of the competent 
minister in accordance with the legal rules that regulate appointment in 
state ministries and departments. 

    -   Any other powers that are entrusted to him by law. 

    Article 170 

    The prime minister shall submit to the House of Representatives and 
the president of the state at the beginning of the house yearly session a 
statement on public policy for discussion and approval, or a report on 
government accountability in accordance with the provisions of the 
constitution. 

    Article 171 

    The prime minister or minister may not combine the ministry with any 
other job. He also may not run any free profession, engage in any 
commercial, financial, or industrial business, or purchase or lease any 
state property. He also may not lease or sell anything to the state from 
his property or barter with it. 

    It is impermissible for the minister to use information gained by 
virtue of his work, directly or indirectly, in realizing material benefit 
for himself or for any other person, in violation of the law. 

    The Ministers 

    Article 172 

    The minister is the highest administrator of his ministry.   Each 
minister shall, as part of his duties in his ministry assume, under the 
oversight of the prime minister, the following: 

    -   Proposing public policy for his ministry and overseeing its 
implementation after its approval. 

    -   Supervising the conduct of work in the ministry and issuing the 
necessary guidelines for the performance of his duties. 

    -   Submitting to the Council of Ministers proposals for laws 
pertaining to his ministry. 

    -   Implementing the state budget within the appropriations approved 
for his ministry. 

    -   Choosing employees below the level of under secretary and 
recommending them for appointment to the Council of Ministers. 

    -   Delegating some of his administrative powers to the under 
secretary or any of the employees in the higher administration of his 
ministry in accordance with the law. 

    -   Heading the administrative apparatus in his ministry. 

    -   Supervising the implementation of laws and regulations pertaining 
to his ministry. 

    -   Any powers entrusted to him by law. 

    Article 173 

    Each minister shall endeavor within the bounds of his powers to 
implement government laws, regulations, plans, and programs in the manner 
stated in the constitution and the laws regulating the work of the 
executive authority. 

    Article 174 

    The prime minister and minister shall receive monthly compensation 
and pension as established by law. 

    Article 175 

    The prime minister and minister shall individually within 30 days 
from being granted confidence submit a statement of personal finances for 
him, his souse, and his minor children   detailing the movable and 
immovable property they own or any credit or debit thy have inside and 
outside Palestine. The statement shall be kept with the Constitutional 
Court. 

    Article 176 

    The president of the state or two thirds of the members of the House 
of Representatives may refer the prime minister or ministers for 
investigation for crimes they may have committed during or due to the 
performance of their functions. 

    Article 177 

    A minister shall cease performing his duties as soon as a decision is 
issued referring him for investigations until the matter is settled. The 
attorney general or his representative shall be entrusted with the 
procedures of investigating the charge. 

    The trial shall be held before the legally competent court. The end 
of his service or resignation shall not prevent legal action from being 
taken or continued against him. 

    Article 178 

    The government shall be considered to have resigned: 

    -   With the beginning of a new term of the House of Representatives 
after every parliamentary election. 

    -   With the death of the prime minister or his inability to carry 
out his constitutional duties. 

    - With the resignation of the prime minister or at least one third of 
the cabinet members. 

    -   With the prime minister's loss of his competence or ability to 
carry out his duties at the request of the majority members of the House 
of Representatives and the issuance of a decision to this effect by the 
Constitutional Court. 

    Article 179 

    The outgoing cabinet shall continue to conduct government affairs 
until the new cabinet assumes its duties after obtaining the confidence 
of the House of Representatives in accordance with the provisions of the 
constitution. 

    The Security Forces 

    Article 180 

    The National Defense Forces belong to the Palestinian people. They 
shall undertake the task of protecting the security of the Palestinians 
and defending the State of Palestine and the president of the state, its 
commander in chief. 

    It is impermissible to form armed groups outside the National Defense 
Forces. The law shall regulate general mobilization in defense of the 
homeland and the rights of the citizens. 

    Article 181 

    The police is a civil agency and part of the Interior Ministry. The 
law shall regulate its role in serving the people, protecting society, 
and maintaining public peace, order, and morals. The police shall carry 
out its duty within the bounds set by the law and respect for all rights 
and freedoms stipulated in this constitution. 

    Article 182 

    The president of the state in consultation with the speaker of the 
House of Representatives and the head of the Supreme Judicial Council 
establish the National Security and Defense Council to advise on matters 
pertaining to the protection of the state and the achievement of its 
security. 

    General Administration 

    Article 183 

    Appointment of state employees and workers and the conditions of 
their employment shall be in accordance with the provisions of the law. 

    The law shall specify the posts that are filled by the president of 
the state or his representative. It shall also define the joint powers in 
making   appointment decisions, as stipulated in the provisions of the 
law. Moreover, it shall define the posts to be filled by the Council of 
Ministers. 

    Article 184 

    The law shall regulate everything pertaining to civil service 
affairs, including appointment, transfer, seconding, promotion, and 
retirement. The Personnel Affairs Bureau in coordination with the 
competent government departments shall strive to improve the General 
Administration. The bureau shall be consulted on draft laws and 
regulations pertaining to the administration and its workers. 

    The General Control Authority 

    Article 185 

    An independent agency with a corporate status called the General 
Control Authority shall be established and the law shall regulate its 
competencies and powers. 

    The head of the General Control Authority shall be appointed through 
a decision by the president of the state and with the approval of the 
House of Representatives. 

    Local Administration 

    Article 186 

    The relationship between the government and the local units shall be 
regulated by law on the basis of decentralized administration. 

    Local government units shall enjoy a corporate status. Their councils 
shall be elected. The law shall state the method of their establishment, 
formation, and election, as well as their competencies and powers. 

    Section Three: The Judicial Authority 

    Article [no number given for this and several subsequent articles] 

    The Judicial Authority shall be independent. It shall have primary 
competence in the appointment of judicial posts and judgment on all 
disputes and crimes. 

    It is impermissible to set up special tribunals. 

    Article 

    The affairs of judicial institutions shall be undertaken by the 
Supreme Judicial Council. The law shall regulate its formation and 
competencies to insure its equality, independence, and cooperation with 
the other public authorities. The council's opinion shall be considered 
in drafting laws that regulate judicial affairs. The council may lay down 
its own bylaws. 

    Article 

    The president of the Supreme Judicial Council shall be appointed 
under a decision by the president of the state and shall be ratified by 
the House of Representatives. The law shall specify the conditions that 
must be met by the members of the Supreme Judicial Council. 

    Article 

    The Supreme Judicial Council shall approve in accordance with the 
laws the regulations organizing appointments, competencies, transfers, 
promotions, and disciplinary measures affecting judges. 

    Article 

    The judge shall take the legal oath before the Supreme Judicial 
Council in the manner stated in the Judicial Authority Law. 

    Article 

    Upon his appointment, the judge shall present a statement of personal 
finances for him, his spouse, and his minor children detailing the 
movable and immovable property and any credits and debts inside and 
outside Palestine. The statement shall be kept with the Constitutional 
Court. 

    Article 

    Court sessions shall be public unless the court decides to hold them 
in camera for reasons pertaining to public order and morals or at the 
request of the litigants. 

    In all cases, the judgment shall be announced in a public session. 

    Article 

    Judicial rulings shall be issued, announced, and carried out in the 
name of the people according to the law. 

    Article 

    The law shall regulate litigation to insure justice and expeditious 
decisions in cases. 

    Article 

    Judges shall be independent. There shall not be any authority over 
them in the exercise of their judicial duties except the law and their 
conscience. They cannot be dismissed. The law shall regulate the judges' 
disciplinary accountability before the Supreme Judicial Council in the 
cases specified by law, without encroaching on their independence in the 
fulfillment of their functions. 

    It is impermissible for anyone to interfere in the legal process or 
disrupt implementation of the final judicial rulings. Interference in the 
legal process and disruption of the final judicial rulings is a crime 
punishable by law, in which charges shall have no statue of limitations. 

    Article 

    Appointment, transfer, seconding, promotion, and regulation of the 
affairs of judges shall be by law. It is impermissible to combine 
judicial work with any other profession or membership in the 
representative councils or political parties. 

    It is impermissible for the judge, while assuming his judicial 
duties, to hold any citizenship but the Palestinian citizenship. 

    Article 

    A Court of Cassation shall be established which shall be concerned 
with examining criminal and civil cases. The law shall define the method 
of its formation, powers, and procedures of work. 

    Article 

    A High Court of Justice shall be set up to decide on administrative 
conflicts and disciplinary charges, as defined by the law establishing 
the court. The law shall regulate the bases of its work and the 
conditions for the appointment of its judges and workers as well as the 
procedures to be followed before the court. It is permissible to set up 
lower administrative courts by law. 

    Article 

    A military court shall be established by law to decide on military 
cases. It shall not decide on any cases outside the military sphere. 

    Public Prosecution 

    Article 

    The Public Prosecution Office is an organ of the judicial authority. 
It follows the Ministry of Justice and is subject to the Judicial 
Authority Law. 

    Article 

    The attorney general shall be appointed at the head of the Public 
Prosecution Office at the recommendation of the minister and under a 
decision by the president of the state to be ratified by the House of 
Representatives. The law shall define his competencies, assistants and 
their duties. 

    Article 

    The Public Prosecution Office shall prosecute public cases in the 
name of the people in accordance with the provisions of the law. 

    Article 

    The judicial police is directly subject to the judicial authority. 

    Article 

    The Ministry of Justice shall undertake the organization of the 
administration of judicial facilities without infringing on the Supreme 
Judicial Council's professional supervision of the judicial apparatus 
including the Public Prosecution Office. 

    Article 

    The legal profession shall be regulated by law. 

    The Supreme Constitutional Court 

    Article 

    A Supreme Constitutional Court shall be established under the 
constitution to exercise its authority independently in safeguarding the 
legality of the work of state institutions. It shall be composed of 9 
judges to be nominated by the president of the state and approved by the 
House of Representatives. The court shall lay down the bylaws that will 
regulate its work. The judges shall be appointed for a 9-year term. It 
shall not be renewed or extended directly. 

    Article 

    The judges of the Constitutional Court shall elect from among 
themselves a president for the court for a three-year term. 

    The president and judges of the Constitutional Court shall take the 
legal oath prior to assuming their duties before the president of the 
state, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the president of 
the Supreme Judicial Council together. 

    Article 

    It is impermissible for a judge in the Constitutional Court to assume 
any other public post or engage in any commercial, political, or party 
activity. He must resign from his political party before taking the legal 
oath. 

    Article 

    The judge's membership in the Constitutional Court terminates under 
the following cases: 

    -   At the end of his term as stipulated in the constitution. 

    -   By voluntary resignation. 

    -   By a court conviction in a criminal case. 

    A successor shall be appointed within one month of the position 
becoming vacant. 

    Article 

    The Constitutional Court shall at the request of the president of the 
state, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the courts, the 
attorney general, or someone whose constitutional rights have been 
violated, consider the constitutionality of: 

    -   Laws before they are promulgated by request of the president of 
the state or five members of the House of Representatives when the 
request is made within 30 days from the referral of the law to the 
president of the state for ratification and issuance. 

    - Disputes on laws, regulations, bills, measures, and decisions 
issued by the president of the state or the prime minister that have the 
force of law, which can be contested before courts. 

    -   Problems on the programs and activities of political parties and 
societies, measures on dissolving parties and suspending their 
activities, or the extent of their conformity to the constitution. 

    -   Signing of treaties and procedures of their implementation, and 
decisions on the nullification of a law or some of its provisions, if 
they conflict with the constitution or an international treaty. 

    -   Any other competencies based on the constitution. 

    Article 

    The Constitutional Court shall render void an unconstitutional law, 
regulation, or measure or terminate its validity and effectiveness in 
accordance with the circumstances and conditions specified in the law 
organizing its operation. 

    Article 204 

    The decisions of the Constitutional Court shall be final and may not 
be appealed in any manner and bind all public authorities and normal and 
corporate persons. 

    Chapter Four: Final Rules and the Revision and Amendment of the 
Constitution 

    Article 

    This constitution shall be called "The Constitution of the State of 
Palestine." It shall be based on the will of the Palestinian people and   
approved by the will of the majority of the participants in the general 
public referendum. This constitution shall come into force as of the date 
of its approval by the people as a result of the referendum. 

    Article 

    The president of the State or one third of the members of the House 
of Representatives may request the amendment or cancellation of one or 
more articles of the constitution. In all cases, the principle of 
amendment calls for the approval of two thirds of the house. If the 
request is rejected, it is impermissible to again request an amendment or 
cancellation of the same articles before the lapse of one year since this 
rejection. 

    The House of Representatives shall discuss the amendments within 60 
days from the approval of the principle of amendment. If one third of the 
house members approve the principle, it will be referred to a public 
referendum. If the majority of voters in the referendum approve the 
amendment it will be considered valid as of the date of the announcement 
of the referendum results. 

    Article 

    Laws shall be issued in the name of the people. 

    Article 

    So long as they do not conflict with the provisions of this 
constitution, the laws, regulations, decisions, agreements, and treaties 
that were in force before this constitution shall remain valid until they 
are amended or cancelled in accordance with the law. 

    Article 

    The legislative authority shall prepare the necessary draft laws for 
building the legal and administrative bodies that will implement the 
provisions of this constitution, meet its requirements and establish the 
institutions stipulated within a maximum period of six months as of the 
date of the issuance of the constitution. 

    Article 

    The official institutions shall continue to exercise their powers 
under their constitutional and legal rules until the amendments 
necessitated by the constitutions have been carried out. 

    Article: 

    The Basic Law issued on 29 May 2002 shall be cancelled as well as 
everything that conflicts with the provisions of this constitution. 


[Description of Source: Ramallah   Al-Ayyam (Internet Version-WWW) in 
Arabic -- Independent, pro-Palestinian Authority daily; root URL on 
filing date: http://www.al-ayyam.com]