Mohammad Shtayyeh
Mohammad Shtayyeh Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammed Shtayyeh on Wednesday called on a delegation from the US Congress he met at his office in Ramallah to pressure the Trump administration to retract its “unilateral steps” towards the Palestinians.

"We rely on the wisdom of the members of Congress to pressure the US administration to retract its unilateral steps towards the Palestinians,” Shtayyeh told the lawmakers, according to the PA’s official Wafa news agency.

“This administration headed by Trump has been misguided and is no longer an honest broker for peace," he charged.

"We have signed many agreements with Israel and it did not abide by them and violated them. All the US-sponsored peace talks have failed because of Israel and because there was no clear and agreed terms of reference, no specific time frame for these talks, and no sincere intentions from Israel," claimed Shtayyeh.

He said the discussion in Israel is not between those who want peace or the continuation of the “occupation”, but between those who want to maintain the status quo and those who want to seize more Palestinian land in order to eliminate any chance for establishing the Palestinian state.

"Israel is waging a financial war against the Palestinians, especially by deducting the allowances of the families of the prisoners and martyrs from the clearance money and tax revenues, and is stealing from them without any auditing, especially the electricity and water bills," claimed Shtayyeh, in reference to the PA money that Israel is withholding due to the fact that the PA pays salaries to jailed terrorists and their families.

The PA, which views Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, has been at odds with the Trump administration and has boycotted it ever since it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in late 2017 and relocated the US embassy to the city.

The PA has also rejected the US peace plan, known as the “Deal of the Century”, before it has even been unveiled, claiming it is biased in Israel’s favor.

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