A youth debate arguing for more youth engagement and responsibility in maintaining civil peace.

A youth debate arguing for more youth engagement and responsibility in maintaining civil peace.

Hashed activitiesImportantMainPress Release

Reference number: 87/2023

Date: September 12, 2023

Native language: Arabic

Press release


A youth debate arguing for more youth engagement and responsibility in maintaining civil peace.

On Monday morning, The International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights (Hashd) hosted a youth debate headlined “This Council believes that Palestinian youth have worked to protect civil peace in society,” at its headquarters west of Gaza City.

The youth debate is part of a series of debates overseen by the Commission to strengthen the role of youth in maintaining civil peace and supporting opportunities for reconciliation and democratic transformation, as well as part of Hashd’s Bridge Builders Project, which is funded by the Swiss Foreign Ministry.

The team supporting the project was represented by Moatasem Fares, Tahrir Abu Arabiya, and Muhammad Khalifa, while the opposing team was represented by Adham Al-Majdalawi, Alaa Daoud, and Muhammad Salim.

Mr. Moatasem Fares, a representative of the supporting team, said that civil peace strives to establish security, peace, and stability in Palestinian society, emphasizing the importance of Palestinian youth in maintaining civil peace.

Despite the obstacles that Palestinian society and youth face, Fares said that the young are the backbone of Palestinian society and have a responsibility to demand reconciliation and foster discourse on many national and humanitarian concerns.

The supporting team mentioned youth participation in social and cultural activities organized by civil society institutions, youth organization for the March 15, 2011 movement demanding an end to division, youth participation in Palestinian parties and organizations, and youth participation in the leadership of frameworks, mass bodies, and popular organizations. The advancement of youth in social work arenas, the involvement of some of them in working in local councils, the advancement of local initiative arenas and fields, the provision of young community leadership, the readiness to participate in the upcoming electoral rounds, and the continued demand of young people for student and local elections in the Gaza Strip.

The opposition team, for its part, presented a set of positions as evidence of the absence of youth’s role in protecting civil peace, the most prominent of which is that youth played a role in internal fighting and that partisan and tribal fanaticism has become one of the characteristics that characterize a large segment of youth as a result of the political system’s collapse and decline. The rule of law, as well as democratic, pluralistic, and tolerant ideas.

According to the opposition side, the youth did not influence Palestinian reconciliation and did not participate in any of the formal dialogue sessions.

Youth belief in their power to change has declined as a result of their marginalization. Despite their nonviolent character, all youth initiatives calling for an end to the division were met with violence, oppression, and frustration of the youth’s efforts, exacerbating the youth’s difficulties. It scattered and hindered all youth programs and activities, as well as drop-in youth development and awareness projects, and the appearance of examples of employment based on belief and affiliation rather than competence and aptitude. As a result, young people’s self-esteem and ability to alter and stop the condition of separation have suffered.

The opposition team also stated that due to their lack of experience, young people have a limited role in maintaining civil peace because they have been exposed to violence, conflicts, and the disastrous repercussions of division, which have affected the performance and participation of young people in political parties, as well as their role in society, as a result of the decline in opportunities for democratic transformation and the absence of comprehensive elections. The occupation’s transgressions and the continuance of As young people established a perception of the responsibility of political parties and groups for the reality of divide and its expressions, the number of young people seeking to immigrate and emigrate increased, which stood as an obstacle to achieving their dreams of freedom and independence, obtaining job opportunities, and living a decent life.

In turn, the debate jury confirmed that debate is an important science whose skills young people should master to advance youth and national dialogue, exchange information and experiences, and conduct evaluations of various challenges and interventions. The committee appreciated the ability of the young people who took part in the debate and urged the international organization to continue conducting them. Youth plays an essential role in activating young people’s roles and involvement, as well as amplifying their voices to reach decision-makers.

The judges recognized the significance of youth in maintaining civic peace in Palestinian society, despite several challenges that stood in the way. The jury finished by proclaiming the opposition team’s triumph and stating that the opposition team had the last word in the absence of Palestinian youth’s involvement in peacekeeping.

Dr. Salah Abd El Atie, President of the International Commission to Support Palestinian Rights “Hashd,” for his part, emphasized the importance of maintaining civil peace and working to hold comprehensive elections and complete Palestinian reconciliation, as well as the impact of this on opening the doors of hope, change, and participation among young people, and urged them to be active participants. National and societal support for their rights, as well as solidarity around a rigorous action program that restores youth and young movements’ respect, allowing them to play their roles more effectively.

In order to achieve reconciliation until then, Abd El-Atie emphasized the importance of working to develop a state of youth demand, allowing them to reclaim their role in facing the challenges imposed by reality, and to effectively contribute to identifying priorities and needs, and activating the mechanisms and tools of pressure and influence towards achieving those needs through Utilize available spaces.


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