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Annexing Parts of West Bank Brings Conflict Back to Square One: Shtayyeh

Annexing Parts of West Bank Brings Conflict Back to Square One: Shtayyeh

Tuesday, 3 September, 2019 - 07:00
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (Reuters)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that statements delivered by the Premier of the occupation government on annexing parts of the West Bank were very critical and would bring conflict over Palestine back to square one.

In the Palestinian cabinet session on Monday, Shtayyeh urged the international community to recognize the state of Palestine on June 4, 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.

He stressed that this, in addition to the return of refugees, is the only solution to achieve regional peace.

Shtayyeh also called on renewing UNRWA’s mandate and bolstering its financial and institutional role to serve the Palestinian refugees until they return to their homes.

Shtayyeh’s remarks were in response to Netanyahu’s pledges to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“With God’s help we will extend Jewish sovereignty to all the settlements as part of the (biblical) land of Israel, as part of the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said in Sunday’s speech in the West Bank settlement of Elkana, where he attended a ceremony opening the school year.

Netanyahu’s statements followed reports indicating his attempts to receive US President Donald Trump’s support to his move, aimed at imposing sovereignty over settlements in the West Bank before the Sep. 17’s elections.

The settlements’ issue is one of the most controversial as more than 600,000 settlers live today in the West Bank’s settlements, including East Jerusalem, in which about 2.9 million Palestinians live.

Settlements must be confronted not only through the United Nations and the political corridors, but by holding on to the ground and not letting go, Shtayyeh stressed.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday saying that Israeli occupation authorities’ deepening of the settlement issue reveals the falsehood of US efforts to achieve peace.

“The support provided by the US administration to the Israeli occupation and settlements and the international community’s inability to implement resolutions of international legitimacy on settlements and East Jerusalem... allows the occupation state to continue separating Jerusalem completely from its Palestinian surroundings,” according to the foreign ministry.

It said this comes in line with Israel’s plans to change the historical and legal reality in Jerusalem and its sanctities and impose further restrictions on the citizens of Jerusalem to force them to leave, facilitating their replacement with large numbers of settlers.

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