Mohammad Shtayyeh, the new Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader, said on Sunday upon being appointed to the position by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas that he would act "to establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital whose borders are the 1967 lines."
He stressed that the Palestinian struggle against Israel would continue with full force. "The Palestinian residents of Jerusalem are waging a struggle to protect the city from Judaization and to preserve it as an Arab Palestinian city. The struggle to preserve the narrative about the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the city of Jerusalem goes through strengthening the steadfastness of the Muslim and Christian residents of the city against the Jews."
Shtayyeh is a senior member of the Fatah party’s central committee and an ally of Abbas.
His appointment as PA “prime minister” comes after the previous government, led by Rami Hamdallah, resigned at the end of January.
While Hamdallah endorsed reconciliation between the PA and the Hamas terrorist group, senior Fatah leaders said the next PA coalition would work to isolate Hamas, amid the ongoing deadlock.
Observers have suggested Abbas’ selection of Shtayyeh was meant in part to deepen Hamas’ isolation, and ensure that the next coalition does not include the Gaza-based terror group.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad condemned Shtayyeh’s appointment and said that it contradicts the reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian factions.