Speaking at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee’s (AHLC) virtual meeting, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said today that while the Palestinians remain committed to peace based on the two-state solution, Israel is doing everything in its effort to destroy it.
“While we remain committed to peace based on the two-state solution to achieve the legitimate national rights of our people to live in their independent sovereign contiguous State of Palestine on 1967 borders with East-Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the refugees’ question based on UNGA Res 194,” said Shtayyeh, “the reality on the ground after 30 years of peace process, is a systematic destruction of the Palestinian State and the two-State solution.”
He said Israel is intensifying its illegal policies and measures notably by intensifying its colonial enterprise with 750,000 colonial settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem while the number of settlers was 120,000 at the beginning of the Oslo agreement, isolating Jerusalem and imposing the blockade on Gaza, destroying Palestinian homes and structures, and building the annexation wall and the checkpoints, among other things.
Shtayyeh warned that maintaining the current situation of deteriorating status-quo is a non-option.
“There is a need for a serious paradigm shift,” he said. “We look forward to the resumption of a genuine peace process under multilateral umbrella and through an international conference based on international law and relevant United Nations resolutions to end occupation within a clear time frame.” Until reaching a final solution, added the Prime Minister, Israel must respect the signed agreements and refrain from all action that alter the final status issues.
He called on the international community to reengage, as early as possible, “to achieve a just and comprehensive peace based on the land for peace principle, the two-State solution according to the internationally agreed parameters, the signed agreements and Arab Peace Initiative,” to “take concrete actions to stop all illegal Israeli measures in occupied Palestine,” and “to ensure Israel’s accountability for its violations to international law and our people’s rights.”
After thanking the delegates present at the meeting, welcoming, in particular, the new US representative to the AHLC and saying that he looks forward to working with the new US administration under President Joe Biden, PM Shtayyeh said that he addresses the meeting “at a critical time in our history.”
“This last year was a time of unprecedented challenge – for our global community and our nation. In 2020, Palestine faced a triple crisis – health, economic and political,” he said.
Yet, he added, “2021 is a year of enormous opportunity for the State of Palestine – political renewal, health recovery, national unity, democratic renewal, and economic revival.”