PA’s Shtayyeh urges US to up efforts to curb ‘Israeli aggression’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh just wrapped up a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, the PA’s official Wafa news agency reports.

They discussed the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting of donor countries to the Palestinian cause slated to take place tomorrow, Wafa says.

During the meeting, Shtayyeh urged the US “to play an active role in curbing the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in the occupied territories,” Wafa says. “He also called on the US administration to curb Israeli settlement activity in order to preserve and protect the two-state solution in light of Israel’s systematic destruction of the possibility of implementing it.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh (L) meets with US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf on the United Nations General Assembly sidelines on September 19, 2023. (Wafa)

Shtayyeh stressed the need for the US to pressure Israel to allow the Palestinians to hold elections in East Jerusalem, Wafa says hours after The Times of Israel reported that PA President Mahmoud Abbas smeared the European Union as “animals” over Brussels’s conduct on the same issue. Ramallah has denied the report.

The PA prime minister stressed the importance of boosting US-Palestinian ties and urged the Biden administration to follow through on promises to reopen diplomatic missions serving the Palestinians in Washington and Jerusalem, which were shuttered by former president Donald Trump.

Leaf appears to be the most senior US official willing to meet with the PA delegation on the UNGA sidelines following a speech made by Abbas earlier this month in which he claimed that Hitler targeted Jews during the Holocaust because of their “social behavior,” not because of enmity toward Jews.

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