Mohammad Shtayyeh gestures during a Palestinian leadership meeting in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 20, 2019. . (photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)

Source: Jerusalem Post, BY KHALED ABU TOAMEH, MAY 26, 2019

The Palestinians can’t continue recognizing Israel as long as it does not recognize them, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Sunday.

“We will reexamine all agreements signed with Israel,” he said in a speech he delivered during a Ramadan iftar meal for families of Palestinian prisoners and those killed by the IDF in the city of Halhoul, 5 km. north of Hebron. “It is impossible to continue recognizing Israel as long as it does not recognize us.”

PLO and Fatah institutions have called on the Palestinian leadership to “revise” relations with Israel in wake of the Israeli government’s policies and the US Administration’s “bias” in favor of Israel. The recommendations include revoking PLO recognition of Israel and halting security coordination between the PA security forces and the IDF in the West Bank.

Shtayyeh accused Israel of “waging a war on the Palestinian narrative.” Israel, he said, “wants to falsify our narrative about al-Aqsa Mosque and the church to make the Jewish narrative dominant. However, it will never fabricate history because we are rooted in this land.”

Referring to next month’s US-led economic conference in Bahrain, where the US administration is planning to unveil the economic portion of its long-awaited plan for peace in the Middle East, Shtayyeh said: “The problem in Palestine is not economic, but political and any solution must be political to end the occupation, recognize the refugees’ right of return and establish an independent State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.”

The PA has rejected the Bahrain conference and called on all countries, including Arab states, to boycott the gathering.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat on Sunday renewed his call to Arab countries that agreed to attend the conference to reconsider their participation.

In addition to Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have confirmed their participation in the economic conference.

In an interview with the Saudi daily Arab News, Erekat called on Arab states that have committed to attend the conference to reevaluate their decision.

The PLO Executive Committee said in a statement on Sunday that the US administration was seeking to start implementing the economic aspect of its peace plan, also known as the “deal of the century,” by holding the Bahrain conference.

The committee said that the US administration has already begun implementing the political portion of the “deal of the century” that “consolidate the occupation and eliminate the national legitimate rights of the Palestinians.”
The committee also called on all countries that were invited to the Bahrain conference to “honor the position of the Palestinian consensus and not attend the conference.”

The “deal of the century,” the PLO committee added, “is nothing but an American scheme whose implantation began by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights, the legislation of the settlements, dropping the term ‘occupation’ and the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the right to establish their state, as well as the closure of the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington and the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

In the Gaza Strip, a senior Islamic Jihad official said that his group was holding discussions with various Palestinian factions to discuss ways of thwarting the “deal of the century.”

Ahmed al-Mudalal told the Hamas-affiliated Al-Resalah news website that the Palestinian factions were “taking serious measures to foil this conspiracy.” He said that there was agreement between the Palestinian factions and Arab and Islamic parties on ways of thwarting the US plan in various Arab and Islamic countries, but did not provide further details.