EU must sanction Israel, Shtayyeh tells foreign ministers in Brussels

Mohammad Shtayyeh: There is a need for serious intervention to protect the Palestinian people and preserve the two-state solution.

 French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna welcomes Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh before a meeting on the sidelines of a EU's Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium January 23, 2023. (photo credit: JOHN THYS/POOL VIA REUTERS)
French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Catherine Colonna welcomes Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh before a meeting on the sidelines of a EU's Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels, Belgium January 23, 2023.
(photo credit: JOHN THYS/POOL VIA REUTERS)

The European Union must sanction Israel over the new government's  "dangerous" actions toward the Palestinian people, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told European Union foreign ministers who hosted him in Brussels.

“The cost of the occupation must be raised in order for it to end by imposing sanctions on settlements and their products, and reviewing the partnership and cooperation agreements between the European Union and Israel, and linking them to the extent of their respect for the two-state solution, ending the occupation and respecting human rights,” Shtayyeh said.

“The cost of the occupation must be raised in order for it to end by imposing sanctions on settlements and their products, and reviewing the partnership and cooperation agreements between the European Union and Israel, and linking them to the extent of their respect for the two-state solution, ending the occupation and respecting human rights.”

Mohammad Shtayyeh

The new Israeli government's actions and statements “make the situation in Palestine very dangerous, and there is a need for serious intervention to protect the Palestinian people and preserve the two-state solution," Shtayyeh added.

His remarks came during a meeting with the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament David McCallister at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Belgium Brussels, in the presence of Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki.

Shtayyeh urged the EU officials not to allow the new Israeli government “to cross the red lines without deterrence or punishment, especially with regard to human rights and settlement expansion.”

 PA PRIME Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh attends a cabinet meeting. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90) PA PRIME Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh attends a cabinet meeting. (credit: NASSER ISHTAYEH/FLASH90)

He also called on the EU and its countries to recognize the Palestinian state, “to revive hope among the Palestinian people, and to deliver a clear message to Israel not to tolerate its destruction of the two-state solution and its continuous violations against our people.”

Shtayyeh accused the IDF and the settlers of “practicing violence against our people at a high rate.”

Shtayyeh also urged the EU to “fill the political vacuum in light of the American absence, by leading an international effort to end the occupation, especially in the absence of an Israeli partner [for peace].”

The "dire picture of the situation on the ground" for Palestinians

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrel said that Shtayyeh had joined the foreign ministers for lunch and shared the "dire picture of the situation on the ground with record Palestinian casualties." 

Borrel in his statements to the press did not provide context for those casualties, many of which occurred while the IDF roots out terror cells.

Looking to the future, Borrell said that the EU is looking to enhance its bilateral relations with the PA, with the foreign ministers reaffirming their "commitment to protecting the viability of the two-state solution."

The ministers also spoke of the need for a timeline by which Palestinian elections will be held, Borrell said.