Premier Mohammad Shtayyeh Wednesday evening urged Europe to fill the current political vacuum by launching an initiative to end the Israeli occupation.
Speaking in a celebration of Europe Day in Ramallah, Premier Shtayyeh commended Europe for its political support in terms of safeguarding international law, supporting the Palestinian people’s quest to secure its inalienable rights, end the Israeli occupation that began in 1967, and establish its independent state.
The celebration was attended by EU Rep Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff in addition to a host of EU member states diplomats and Palestinian ministers and other officials.
Shtayyeh added that the Israeli occupation constitutes the longest occupation in modern history while pointing that on October 30, 2021, 30 years will have passed since the launching of the Madrid Peace Conference.
Therefore, he added, there was a need to launch a new international peace conference modeled on the Madrid Conference based on ending the Israeli occupation, achieving the two-state solution and respecting international law and the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights.
He stressed that Europe is a key player on the international political arena and is part of the Quartet, which requires it to take action to end any monopoly over the peace process, facilitate the transition from a unilateral to a multilateral approach and sponsorship of the peace process and fill the political vacuum by launching a European political initiative.
While the EU is helping realize the establishment of the Palestinian state, the Israeli occupation continues to systematically destroy any prospect of the establishment of the Palestinian state on the ground and maintains control over the Palestinian natural resources.
He pointed that the new Israeli government should grasp the opportunity to demonstrate its sincere willingness to make peace and end the occupation, but not to proceed with the unbridled colonial settlement construction, land grab, killings and demolitions.
He noted that many Israeli settlers holding the citizenship of member states of the EU illegally live in colonial settlements, as stressing that it was imperative for Europe to compel them to leave the illegal colonial settlements build on the occupied territories.
Shtayyeh concluded his remarks with thanking the EU for providing financial aid to the Palestinian people, while noting that 80,000 families in the besieged Gaza Strip and 40,000 others in the West Bank are benefiting from EU assistance, not to mention other EU assistance for infrastructure, education and combating poverty and unemployment.