International: The United Nation's International Women's Commission (IWC) issues a call to normalize relations with the new Palestinian Unity government.

IWC via WiB
The International Women's Commission for a Just and Sustainable Palestinian-Israeli Peace (IWC) was formed under the auspices of UNIFEM in concrete implementation of Resolution 1325. Their most recent press release calls to support the Unity government.
Press Release: "The IWC regards the formation of a unity Palestinian government as an important positive step forward. This government, a broad-based coalition composed of the different parliamentary groups in the Palestinian Legislative Council, gives voice to the range of opinions in Palestinian society. It provides in its program the elements necessary for the resumption of final status negotiations to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The political platform of the unity government states clearly that the government honors international law and all existing agreements signed by the PLO. It acknowledges that negotiations are the mandate of the PLO and it entrusts President Abbas to conduct negotiations as the legitimate Palestinian negotiator for peace.

The unity government has defined its goal as achieving a solution based on two states through the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and the consolidation of a strong foundation for peace, security and prosperity for present and future generations in the entire region. It has reaffirmed that, as the international community has acknowledged, ending the occupation is an essential requirement for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. It has expressed its commitment to work with the international community to achieve these objectives.

The new Palestinian government has also made a firm commitment to a comprehensive reciprocal ceasefire. It has indicated that it will work with all concerned partners for the release of Gilad Shalit on the basis of an exchange of prisoners.

The IWC calls on the international community to normalize relations with the new unity government immediately and to promote the resumption of final status negotiations to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict. The boycott of the previous Palestinian government has damaged public institutions and undermined the capacity of the authorities to deliver the most basic services to Palestinian society. The sanctions on the Palestinian people have created high levels of unemployment and poverty. Civilians, and particularly women and children, are paying the price. Concrete improvements must be felt on the ground to show that meaningful steps in the right direction yield a tangible dividend.

The international community has a critical role to play in building greater trust and holding all parties accountable to their declared commitment to resume negotiations in good faith.

A just and sustainable peace is the only way to ensure security for both peoples and for the region. A clear majority of both the Israeli and Palestinian populations also supports a negotiated two-state solution. Movement towards final status negotiations must start immediately and all genuine voices for peace must be empowered and amplified, including strong representation of women. The IWC stresses that any viable peace depends on the firm commitment of all parties to promote and protect women’s rights and gender justice.

Now is the time for courageous leaders to transcend fears and get down to work towards resolving all the most difficult issues. Women of the IWC are showing the way and can be counted on to actively support the political negotiation process."

The IWC was formed under the auspices of UNIFEM in concrete implementation of SCR 1325 and is a body of Israeli Palestinian and International women working for a just and sustainable Israeli-Palestinian peace.