Mohammed Shtayyeh, Member of the Central Committee of Fatah, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet minister, accused the Israeli government of avoiding political agreements and employing a policy of “settlement” expansion, house demolitions and “killing civilians.”
Shtayyeh was one of the negotiators who submitted his resignation to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas earlier this year.
Ma’an reports Friday that at a restaurant in the PA village of Beit Jala, Shtayyeh claimed the “so-called bilateral Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are not going to take us anywhere”.
“There is a strong party and there is a weak party, and the Israelis want to dictate rather than negotiate,” he told journalists. “The Israelis want to replace occupation by force with occupation by an invitation, with our signature, and it will never happen.”
Shtayyeh also blamed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, claiming he has not put effort forth to present to the government a peace agreement because his government is “not a government of peace,” and that Israeli government ministers would not approve a peace agreement.
He further called Netanyahu’s move toward negotiations a “tactical move” that “does not stem from peace,” and that negotiations conducted with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Attorney Yitzchak Molcho were not negotiating with the full Israeli government.
The alternative, according to the PLO official, is not through fighting – but through PA citizens garnering international support. Shtayyeh threatened Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria that they would be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and pursued by the governments of the US, Britain, Russia, and the European Union, claiming that they were violating PA territory after the UN allegedly legitimized the body last year.
PA officials have claimed since 2012 that the UN granting the PA non-member status has effectively made them a full-fledged country according to international law.
The remarks also confirm similar statements by Abbas, who has openly declared that a future Palestinian state will have no Jewish presence, military or civilian.