JERUSALEM (JTA) — The new Palestinian Authority prime minister said the still-to-be unveiled Trump administration peace plan will be “born dead.”
Mohammad Shtayyeh told The Associated Press in a wide-ranging hourlong interview that the international community would join the Palestinians in rejecting the peace plan, whose release date has not yet been announced. A new Palestinian government was sworn in over the weekend. P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a three-year term in 2005, and his tenure has been extended repeatedly without the benefit of an election.
“There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump,” Shtayyeh said.
Shtayyeh, an economist educated in England, shared with the news service his plans for getting the Palestinian Authority out of its current financial crisis. The problems have been spurred in part by the Trump administration, which has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars of aid, including all of its support for the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees.
“Israel is part of the financial war that has been declared upon us by the United States,” Shtayyeh said. “The whole system is to try to push us to surrender” and agree to an unacceptable peace proposal. “This a financial blackmail, which we reject.”
Shtayyeh also told AP that the Palestinians remain committed to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, with its capital in eastern Jerusalem.
He said that he would accept nothing less than a full-fledged state, and not the sovereign entity that the Trump peace plan is rumored to include. He added that U.S. gestures to Israel, particularly recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, have left no room to negotiate.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said Tuesday in Ramallah during a meeting with Israeli journalists that “As long as Jerusalem is not on the table, Trump’s [peace] plan will not be on the table,” Haaretz reported.