Palestinian and Israeli NGOs seek to drive peace process forward

A hundred Palestinian and Israeli NGOs have gathered at the 2011 Palestinian Israeli Peace NGO Forum annual meeting in Jericho in support of Palestinian Statehood.
A press release said that the Forum, taking place on 25 and 26 January 2011, intends to address the growing frustration of civil society in Palestine and Israel with the derailment of the peace process and will offer concrete ideas and steps to help achieve an end to occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian State. High ranking political figures from Israel and Palestine are taking part in the event. 
“Our Forum convenes at a critical period in the history of the conflict. Our government has readied the institutions for a Palestinian State. We will consider concrete actions with our partners in Israel to create a common block for ending the occupation and achieving real peace and security via achieving a Palestinian state in 2011”, said Saman Khorury, the Palestinian Peace NGO Forum co-chair.
“The chances for real Peace are eroding as a result of the political stalemate. We believe the majority of Israelis want the two-state solution. We have no interest but to see the two-state solution as Israeli nationals and fighters for hope. We believe a law abiding Palestinian state is achievable and we are ready to recognize it in the framework of a final end to conflict,” said Dr. Ron Pundak, the Israeli Peace NGO Forum Co-chair.
The forum is expected to discuss cooperation in protecting civil rights and the right to work for human rights and peace issues in the face of difficulties. The Forum will tackle growing joint cooperation at the grass roots level in non-violent protests against the wall and shiek jarrah settlements in light of the escalation of settlement projects in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Established in 2006, the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum is a dynamic platform bringing together more than 100 civil society organizations from both sides of the conflict. The Forum’s activity is based upon the understanding that the future of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples is interdependent and therefore requires cooperation to preserve existing channels of communication and dialogue, foster trust and mutual understanding, and open avenues toward peaceful relations. The Peace NGO Forum receives the financial assistance of the European Union; however, the content of this conference is the sole responsibility of the Peace NGO Forum and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union. (ENPI Info Centre)
Press release
EU Delegation – Israel
European Commission Technical Assistance Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip
The EU and the Middle East Peace Process 

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