Israeli-Palestinian peace will not come through Israel - Shtayyeh

PM Naftali Bennett opposes the two-state solution which would require the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addresses journalists during a meeting with members of the Foreign Press Association in Ramallah in the West Bank June 9, 2020 (photo credit: ABBAS MOMANI/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh addresses journalists during a meeting with members of the Foreign Press Association in Ramallah in the West Bank June 9, 2020
(photo credit: ABBAS MOMANI/POOL VIA REUTERS)

The Palestinians do not have a partner for peace in Israel, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Monday.

Speaking during the weekly meeting of the PA cabinet in Ramallah, he criticized Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for opposing the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Bennett’s remarks were made during an interview last Friday with The Jerusalem Post.

The PA leadership condemned Bennett’s remarks, saying they exposed his “extremist and anti-peace ideology.”

Shtayyeh’s statements on Monday came four weeks after the last meeting between PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Defense Minister Benny Gantz in Rosh Ha’ayin.

 PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses PA officials in Ramallah.  (credit: FLASH90) PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses PA officials in Ramallah. (credit: FLASH90)

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official who attended the talks, said the meeting “dealt with the importance of creating a horizon that leads to a political solution in accordance with international resolutions.”

Last week, Sheikh made a similar statement after meeting in Jerusalem with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

“I made it clear to Minister Lapid that it is important to have a political horizon between us and the Israelis,” he told Walla news site.

But Shtayyeh, who is not involved in the direct contacts with Israeli officials, insisted that there is no partner for peace on the Israeli side.

“The statements of the prime minister of the occupation government regarding the rejection of the establishment of the Palestinian state are rejected, and they encourage violence,” he said.

Bennett’s statements demonstrate to the world “the extent of extremism and the occupation government’s hostile positions toward peace and political negotiations,” Shtayyeh said.

“These statements and positions, as well as the occupation’s measures on the ground, prove that there is no partner on the Israeli side for making peace,” he added. “The Bennett government is working systematically to destroy the possibility of establishing the state of Palestine.”

Shtayyeh called on the US and European Union countries to intervene urgently to stop Israel from carrying out its plans to “devour more lands of the occupied city of Jerusalem and cut off the geographical continuity between the northern and southern West Bank.”

Settlement construction was expanding in Ma’aleh Adumim, on the eastern outskirts of Jerusalem, and the area known as E1 to separate the northern and southern parts of the West Bank, he said.

E1, short for East 1, is an area of 12,000 dunams located between Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim.

Palestinians say Israel's plan to build new housing units in the area would separate the northern and southern West Bank from east Jerusalem. Construction in the area would prevent contiguity between the northern and southern parts of the West Bank, making it impossible to establish a Palestinian state in the future, they say.