New York, February 15, 2011—OneVoice Palestine (OVP) volunteers along with citizens of Tal, a governorate of Nablus, are taking action to build a Palestinian state. After a riveting town hall meeting, the participants planted trees near the village of Tal with the vision of a lush and thriving Palestinian state.
Dr. Mohammad Masri, an expert on security strategic affairs and the head of the Institute for Research and Strategic Studies, led the town hall meeting. He focused on what Palestinian security services could look like in a new Palestinian state.
"Town hall meeting discussions of strategy and security are important for state building”, said Roza Helou, a senior youth leader, who attended the event and planted many trees. “It educates civilians who have no previous knowledge about the idea of state building. It empowers them to know more about their security and it gives the responsibility of state building to them.”
Masri began with a look at the past security strategy adopted by Palestinian factions. He then recounted the birth of the first national Palestinian security institution, which was created following Oslo. Dr. Masri also discussed the security bodies under the Palestinian Authority, the series of setbacks encountered as well as the developments it has achieved.
Samer Makhlouf, OVP executive director, elaborated on and emphasized the role of citizens, especially the generation of politically active young people, in the development of a future Palestinian state. Makhlouf urged citizens to be more positive and proactive to effectively contribute and participate in state building.
One way to quell negativity and actively contribute to peace building is through OVP’s Imagine Palestine 2018 campaign. The campaign includes various activities intended to allow Palestinians to envision a peaceful Palestinian state and to identify their responsibilities in achieving it.