Palestinian Prime Minister accuses US of imposing financial war

The new Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, has accused the US of declaring financial war on the Palestinians and said the US plan to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks will be “born dead”.

In an interview with ABC, Shtayyeh said: “There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump. Israel is part of the financial war that has been declared upon us by the US. The whole system is to try to push us to surrender … this a financial blackmail, which we reject.”

Palestinian Authority spokesperson and Abbas’ personal advisor, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, told a group of Israeli journalists yesterday in Ramallah: “As long as Jerusalem is not on the table, Trump’s [Middle East peace] plan will not be on the table.” He reportedly said any peace initiative should be based on previous principles that guided the negotiations, including borders based on the pre-1967 lines with two capitals in Jerusalem.

Abu Rudeineh also said: “The Israeli decision to cut back 42 million shekels a month from tax money we deserve has led to security personnel not receiving the salaries they are due, and this will have grave repercussions.” He added that the Palestine Liberation Organisation will soon convene its central committee to decide whether or not to end security coordination with Israel and withdraw from the 1994 Paris Protocol, which defines economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian AUthority.

On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that the Trump plan for Israeli-Palestinian talks will not propose a sovereign Palestinian state but would instead focus on “economic opportunities for Palestinians” in a long-term agreement where Israel would likely maintain security control over Palestinian areas in the West Bank.

Earlier this week 36 former European politicians called on the EU to reject Trump’s plan unless it proposes a Palestinian state alongside Israel with agreed land swaps, Jerusalem as the capital for both states and an agreed, fair solution to the refugee issue. In anticipation of the US plan, the leaders urged the EU to: “… Formally reaffirm the internationally agreed parameters for a two-state solution. Doing this in advance of the US plan establishes the EU’s criteria for supporting American efforts and facilitates a coherent and unified European response once the plan is published.”