The newly appointed Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said Tuesday that the United States’ long-anticipated peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians will be “born dead.”
“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 in his first interview with the international media since taking office.
The Palestinians have boycotted U.S. efforts at mediation since the Trump administration, with strong bipartisan backing, recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved its embassy to Jerusalem. The PA and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, have previously defied U.S. efforts to facilitate peace with Israel.
In two meetings with Abbas in 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to the PA’s pay-to-slay scheme under which Palestinian terrorists and their families receive generous financial rewards. Trump said that “no lasting peace” can be achieved “unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence.” The Palestinians rejected the demand.
“Israel is part of the financial war that has been declared upon us by the United States. The whole system is to try to push us to surrender” and agree to an unacceptable peace proposal, Shtayyeh said in the interview. “This is a financial blackmail, which we reject.”
The U.S. passed legislation last year to sharply reduce aid to the PA unless it stops inciting terrorism. The measure, known as the Taylor Force Act, was named after a 29-year-old American military veteran fatally stabbed by a Palestinian terrorist in Israel in 2016. The Knesset passed a similar law.
Without its major sources of revenue, the PA has begun slashing the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants, while still paying convicted Palestinian terrorists and their families their full stipends. Abbas vowed in July 2018: “By Allah, even if we have only a penny left it will only be spent on the families of the martyrs and prisoners and only afterward will it be spent on the rest of the people.”
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