Palestinian Basic Law
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The Palestinian Basic Law

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

Unity talks launched in Cairo

A Hamas delegation has arrived in Egypt to participate in talks to restore Palestinian unity and resolve the dispute over the term of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. According to Palestinian law, presidential elections must be held every four years. That means that Abbas’s term officially ends in January 2009. However, the law also states that presidential and parliamentary elections must be held at the same time, which they say extends his term to January 2010. Hamas has stated that they will no longer recognize Abbas as president after January 2009.

Read: Maan News, “Hamas leaders arrive in Cairo for unity talks on Tuesday night,” 7 October 2008,

Read: Maan News, “Azzam Al-Ahmad: Unity agreement first, talks second,” 7 October 2008,

Read: Maan News, “Khreishah: Hamas kidnapped PLC name, illegal elections the ransom,” 7 October 2008,

Read: Reuters, “Hamas takes its turn at reconciliation talks, 7 October 2008,

Read: AFP, “Hamas delegation in Egypt for Unity Talks,” 7 October 2008,

Read: AFP, “Palestinian PM calls for ‘non-factional’ unity government,” 7 October 2008,

Read: AP, “Hamas lawmakers say Abbas must call elections,” 7 October 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.

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