Stop annexation by sanctioning Israel, Palestinian PM tells UN
“Israel does not want two states; Israel does not want one state. All Israel wants is to annex,” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Monday.
By TOVAH LAZAROFFPublished: MAY 20, 2020 14:28Advertisement
Countries that oppose annexation should sanction Israel and those that have not yet recognized Palestinian statehood should do so now, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told the United Nations late Monday.“What we need from you really is sanctions on Israel. What we need from you is to recognize Palestine as a state… Israelis should feel the heat. That is what I ask you to help us. This erosion of two states must be stopped,” Shtayyeh told the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, during a special video session.Shtayyeh spoke in the aftermath of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge on Sunday to seek government approval as soon as possible for the annexation of West Bank settlements. It was one of the first statements Netanyahu made to his new government immediately upon its formation.Netanyahu also committed to the annexation process in the Knesset when his new government was sworn in.Shtayyeh said the Palestinians viewed his statement as an announcement of annexation.“Israel has announced officially in the Knesset, while their ministers were sworn in, they have stated that they will annex," he said. "We will not wait until Israel implements the annexation. They already put it on their agenda; they already stated it in the Knesset."On Tuesday night the Palestinian leadership would hold a meeting in Ramallah to discuss the best response to the pending Israeli annexation, Shtayyeh said.Statements by incoming Blue and White Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi about commitments to peace have not assuaged the Palestinians.The debate in Israel is no longer about whether to annex, but how to annex, Shtayyeh told UN ambassadors on Monday.“Israel does not want two states; Israel does not want one state. All Israel wants is to annex,” he said.The situation is now “urgent,” Shtayyeh warned. He added that, “It is not enough to say we support two states. Political statements in New York have to be supported with economic weight. Those who have economic weight should put it behind their political statements,” he said.“Israel is going to destroy the two-states solution that you believed in, and we have to take this measure seriously,” he said. Shtayyeh noted that the EU on Friday discussed sanctions against Israel, adding that “this is an important step in the right direction.”The PA prime minister said that the US monopoly over the peace process has come to an end. The time has come to start planning for the day after the Trump peace process fails, by working toward a multilateral UN conference to establish a two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines based on past UN resolutions and international law.“We should think of the day after. The Trump plan was born dead. Politics knows no vacuum. When we spoke of an international conference, we spoke of a new approach,” he said.“We need to move from bilateralism to multilateralism,” he added.Shtayyeh called on the international community to stand behind the International Criminal Court as it weathers the attacks against it by the United States and Israel.In addition, he said that the UN must also provide the Palestinians with international protection. The UN has passed many resolutions on this matter, which now must be implemented, he added.This is a “moment of truth” for both the Palestinians and the “international community,” he said.“I hope the UN will rise up to the occasion: It should,” Shtayyeh said.“We cannot stay silent on this issue. We hope the international community does not stay silent,” he said.Israel's Ambassador the UN Danny Danon said in response, “The Palestinian PM’s statements are fear-mongering, nothing more. After 72 years of rejection, the Palestinians still choose to play from the same, tired playbook. As I have said for the past five years at the UN: all the Palestinians have to do is sit down and meet with us for direct negotiations. Instead, they want to scare the international community into pressuring Israel. This is not the way forward.”
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