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Saturday, April 20 2024

Palestinian PM Shtayyeh Resigns, Blames Gaza Crisis

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Due to the increasing violence in the occupied territory and the ongoing war on Gaza, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has announced the resignation of his government, which governs portions of the occupied West Bank.

“It was decided to step down due to the extraordinary intensification of events in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as the conflict, murder, and famine in the Gaza Strip,” stated Shtayyeh, who turned in his resignation to Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), on Monday.

“I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity and the extension of unity of authority over the land of Palestine,” he said.

Shtayyeh’s remarks coincide with mounting US pressure on Abbas to reorganize the PA and start constructing a political framework that will enable the establishment of a post-conflict Palestinian state.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has, however, repeatedly rejected demands for the PA led by Abbas to seize power and rule Gaza and establish a Palestinian state.

Legislators in Israel supported Netanyahu last week in opposing any “unilateral” acknowledgment of a Palestinian state.

“The Knesset came together in an overwhelming majority against the attempt to impose on us the establishment of a Palestinian state, which would not only fail to bring peace but would endanger the state of Israel,” said Netanyahu.

But the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs slammed the vote and accused Israel of holding the rights of Palestinians hostage due to the occupation of Palestinian territories.

“The ministry reaffirms that the State of Palestine’s full membership in the United Nations and its recognition by other nations does not require permission from Netanyahu,” it said in a statement.

Little has been accomplished in the way of a two-state solution since the Oslo Accords were signed in the early 1990s.

The far-right Israeli Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, announced plans on Thursday to build more than 3,300 new homes in response to a shooting that claimed the life of an Israeli civilian. This comes as the International Court of Justice is hearing arguments from about 50 countries regarding the legal ramifications of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

According to Smotrich, the decision will start the approval process for 2,350 new homes in Maale Adumim, the location of the attack, and 300 new homes in the Kedar settlement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he was “disappointed” to hear of the Israeli announcement of the new settlements.

“It’s been longstanding US policy under Republican and Democratic administrations alike that new settlements are counter-productive to reaching an enduring peace,” he said in Buenos Aires.

“They’re also inconsistent with international law. Our administration maintains a firm opposition to settlement expansion and in our judgement this only weakens, it doesn’t strengthen, Israel’s security.”

Violence in the occupied West Bank has escalated significantly after the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel that killed 1,139 people. Israel’s retaliatory bombardments on Gaza have killed more than 29,000 Palestinian civilians, according to the strip’s Ministry of Health.

Palestinian health officials also say at least 401 people have been killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank during the same period.

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