Palestinian Basic Law
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The Palestinian Basic Law

A collection of various propsals and amendments to the Basic Law of Palestine.

Hamas may agree to early elections

According Maan News Agency, Hamas-affiliates told the London-based Al-Hayat newspapars that Hamas has yielded to pressure from the Yemeni president to hold early elections if the caretaker cabinet is restructured.

Hamas also calls for a cancellation of a series of presidential decree that followed the Hamas militakeover of the Gaza strip in June 2007. (See decrees here: JMCC, The most significant Presidential Decrees issued on June – July 2007:

Read entire article here:
Maan, “Behind the scenes at Sanaa, bargaining and concessions on both sides”, 24 March, 2008,

The initiative was signed on Sunday 23 March by Azzam al-Ahmad, Fatah’s parliamentary speaker, and senior Hamas representative Moussa Abu Marzouk.

Main points of the Yemen agreement:

  • a return to the framework accords laid in Mecca¨
  • the creation of another unity government
  • the reform of security forces along national rather than factional lines
  • holding new Palestinian elections.

There is, however, disagreement as to the interpretation of the document. Hamas argues that the agreement is a framework for dialogue, whereas Fatah seems to argue that the document is a plan ready for implementation.

The Palestinian presidency released a statement saying, “Resumption of dialogue in the future must be based on the Yemeni initiative as a whole, rather than dealing with it as a framework for dialogue, which will lead nowhere.”

Read relevant articles here:
Maan, “Hamas and Fatah at odds over interpretation of Yemeni-brokered agreement”, 24 March 2008,

Maan, “Fatah leaders warn of repercussions of failure of Yemeni initiative”, 24 March 2008,

Reuters, “Palestinian factions sign Yemen reconciliation deal”, 23 March 2008,

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Facts about the Basic Law

The Palestinian Basic Law is to function as a temporary constitution for the Palestinian Authority until the establishment of an independent state and a permanent constitution for Palestine can be achieved.

The Basic Law was passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1997 and ratified by President Yasser Arafat in 2002. It has subsequently been amended twice; in 2003 the political system was changed to introduce a prime minister. In 2005 it was amended to conform to the new Election Law. The 2003 reform was comprehensive and affected the whole nature of the Palestinian political system, whereas the 2005 amendment was only minor and affected only a few paragraphs.

A parallel effort has been made to draft a permanent Palestinian constitution for an independent state, but this was shelved in favor of amending the existing Basic Law.

About this site

This website presents a collection of various drafts and amendments related to the Basic Law and other constitutional texts that have been compiled from various other sources.

You can also expect to find links to news items and reports that are of relevance to Palestinian constitutional law, the electoral framework, political reform and the PA branches of government.

The website was created by the Norwegian journalists Erik Bolstad and Tonje M. Viken in February 2008. The site is a private initiative and has no affiliation to any organizations or authorities.

All external links are purely for information purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of this site.

Information and contact details.