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February 20, 2020 11:58 am

PA Prime Minister Calls on EU to Recognize Palestinian State to Prevent West Bank Annexation by Israel

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh gestures during an interview with Reuters in his office in Ramallah, June 27, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Raneen Sawafta.

The prime minister of the Palestinian Authority said on Thursday that US President Donald Trump’s peace plan had already failed, and he urged European countries to recognize a Palestinian statehood in order to prevent Israeli annexation of West Bank lands.

Israeli news site N12 reported that, at a meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh vowed the Palestinians would never negotiate on the basis of the Trump plan and that the US “will not find a partner to implement its plan” among the Arab states or the EU.

Instead, Shtayyeh said, “an international group to support and negotiate peace must be established, based on the Arab Peace Initiative, the principles of the EU, and UN declarations, of which the United States will be a part.”

Shtayyeh then called on EU member states to recognize a Palestinian state in order to preserve the two-state solution and prevent annexation.

The Trump plan calls for Israel’s annexation of all its settlements in the West Bank, comprising some 30% of the disputed territory.

Despite indications that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would annex the settlements immediately after the plan’s announcement, White House pressure led him to not go ahead with the move.

An American-Israeli committee has been formed to draw up a map as a preliminary step toward annexation.

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