Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh on Thursday called for continued support for the steadfastness of Arab residents of Jerusalem, noting that the city would continue to be a symbol of Arabism and would be open to all religions.
In a speech at a conference in Geneva, Shtayyeh said that the Palestinian issue faces a number of challenges, including the so-called “Deal of the Century”, the American initiative to resolve the conflict, and the attempts to blackmail the Palestinians so that they accept the initiative.
Shtayyeh made clear that the Palestinian position on this issue is clear and that the Palestinians will never agree to an arrangement that does not meet the minimum requirements.
"Anyone who thinks we are seeking an economic solution is wrong, because the issue is connected with the end of the Israeli military and colonial occupation," said Shtayyeh, who accused the United States of waging an economic war against the PA.
He described additional challenges facing the Palestinians, including the completion of reconciliation in the Palestinian arena, general elections and the difficult economic situation reflected in the rise in unemployment and poverty.
Shtayyeh’s comments come ahead of the Bahrain economic conference later this month, in which the Trump administration is planning to release the economic component of its upcoming Middle East peace plan.
The PA announced it would boycott the economic conference almost immediately after it was announced, with its “information minister” Nabil Abu Rudeineh saying that the conference would be a meaningless meeting that was part of a meaningless plan.
The PA has also rejected the US peace plan before it has even been unveiled, claiming it is biased in Israel’s favor.
PA officials have also made clear they would reject any projects promoted at the Bahrain conference, even if those projects receive outside funding.