Palestinian Authority PM: God help us if Trump reelected

Mohammad Shtayyeh says ‘four years have been really wasted’ under US president, whom the PA is boycotting; hopes things will improve under a Biden presidency

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister speaks with European lawmakers by video link on October 12, 2020. (Screen capture: Facebook)
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister speaks with European lawmakers by video link on October 12, 2020. (Screen capture: Facebook)

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The Palestinian Authority prime minister has said it will be disastrous for his people and the world at large if US President Donald Trump wins re-election next month.

Speaking remotely to European lawmakers, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said the last four years of the Trump administration have greatly harmed the Palestinians.

“If we are going to live another four years with President Trump, God help us… and the whole world,” Shtayyeh said Monday. The comments were posted on his Facebook page.

The Palestinians have traditionally refrained from taking an explicit public position in American presidential elections, but the PA has halted all contacts with the Trump administration since 2017. Shtayyeh’s comments reflected the sense of exasperation on the Palestinian side after a series of US moves in support of Israel that have left them weakened and isolated.

مداخلة رئيس الوزراء في لقاء مع لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في البرلمان الأوروبي:

خلال لقاء لجنة الشؤون الخارجية في البرلمان الأوروبي: -لدينا إرادة جادة لإجراء الانتخابات وهي استحقاق وطني وبوابة لإنهاء الانقسام وإعادة الوهج الديمقراطي لفلسطين، والحكومة ستقوم بكل ما هو ممكن لتسهيل إجرائها-طالبنا الاتحاد الأوروبي بدعم هذه الانتخابات والضغط على إسرائيل لإجرائها بالقدس وهو حق لأهلنا بالقدس تمتعوا فيه في الانتخابات السابقة جميعها، واستحقاق سياسي ضمنته الاتفاقيات الموقعة مع إسرائيل-ندعو الاتحاد إلى لعب دور فاعل في أي عملية سياسية مستقبلية لكسر الأمر الواقع الذي تعيشه القضية الفلسطينية-أي عملية سياسية يجب أن تكون قائمة على إنهاء الاحتلال الإسرائيلي الواقع على أرضنا وعلى أساس حل الدولتين المستند إلى القانون الدولي والقرارات الأممية-ندعو دول الاتحاد الأوروبي للاعتراف بالدولة الفلسطينية وكذلك رفع كلفة الاحتلال من خلال الانتقال من وسم بضائع المستعمرات إلى مقاطعتها بشكل كامل-الشعب الفلسطيني الذي يرزح تحت الاحتلال هو أكثر المستفيدين من حل سياسي عادل، ومن المجحف القول بإن القيادة الفلسطينية أضاعت أي فرصة، لأننا لم نحظَ بأي فرصة ترتقي لحقوق شعبنا-تطبيع بعض الدول العربية لا يخدم معادلة السلام مقابل الأرض الذي يضمن إنهاء الاحتلال الإسرائيلي لأراضينا المحتلة عام 1967 وهو جوهر المبادرة العربية، بل يخدم المنظور الإسرائيلي وهو السلام المجاني مع استمرار الاحتلال-على إسرائيل أن تضمن أمن دولة فلسطين وشعبها لا أن يطالب الشعب الواقع تحت الاحتلال بضمان أمن المحتل

Posted by ‎Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh الدكتور محمد اشتية‎ on Monday, October 12, 2020

The Palestinians severed ties with Trump after he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and subsequently moved the United States Embassy to the city. Trump has also cut off hundreds of millions of dollars of American aid to the Palestinians, shut the Palestinian diplomatic offices in Washington and issued a Middle East plan this year seen as largely favoring Israel. The Palestinians preemptively rejected the plan, which envisions some 30 percent of the West Bank coming under Israeli sovereignty, and the Palestinians offered conditional statehood in the remaining areas, with some additional land from within today’s Israel and a small presence in east Jerusalem.

“Four years have been really wasted,” Shtayyeh said of Trump’s time in office. “We were waiting for the ultimate deal and everyone was hoping that the ultimate deal would really be a deal and be ultimate. Unfortunately it has not been.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (L) listens as US President Donald Trump speaks to the press before a meeting at New York’s Palace Hotel during the 72nd UN General Assembly on September 21, 2017. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

The Trump administration also has brokered agreements between two Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel and promised that other Arab nations will follow suit. These deals have undercut the Palestinian insistence and widespread Arab consensus that further recognition of Israel, with which Egypt and Jordan have made peace, should only come in return for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal — a rare source of leverage for the Palestinians.

Shtayyeh expressed hope that a victory by the Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would raise prospects for a peace deal.

“If things are going to change in the United States I think this will reflect itself directly on the Palestinian-Israeli relationship,” he said. “And it will reflect itself also on the bilateral Palestinian-American relationship.”

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