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FRANCE 24 spoke to the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mohammad Shtayyeh in Brussels where he unreservedly criticised the new Israeli government, claiming its goal is “annexation”, and adding that “the whole settlement programme was designed to destroy the two-state solution”. The prime minister also expressed “big disappointment” with Joe Biden’s administration, recalling how he was “very hopeful” when Biden was elected, but now believes that the promises made by Washington will never materialise.
Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh warned that the new Israeli government was willing to annihilate the two-state solution by gaining full control of the West Bank. As such, the Israeli government posed a direct threat to the existence of the Palestinian Authority (PA). He said the PA’s leadership was considering a series of steps in response, including stopping security cooperation with Israel. As for the Palestinian people, he said they were getting desperate and he could not rule out that the mounting tensions might turn into a third Intifada.
Although assured by EU foreign ministers of their support for a two-state solution at a recent meeting in Brussels, the Palestinian premier said he urged them to go further by formally recognising the state of Palestine.
Shtayyeh also took aim at the Biden administration for failing to live up to promises made to the Palestinians, including the reopening of the US consulate in East Jerusalem. He said that while President Biden had openly supported the two-state solution, his administration was not actively pursuing it, adding that he was the only US president who had not proposed a peace plan or initiative.
On the issue of the normalisation of ties between Arab countries and Israel, the Palestinian premier brushed aside the idea, stressing that the Palestinian issue remained central in the Arab world; he firmly believed that Saudi Arabia, in particular, wouldn’t normalise relations with Israel.
Finally, he expressed hope that a dialogue between Hamas and Fatah would begin soon in order to heal the rift, once and for all, between these rival Palestinian factions.
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