Mohammad Shtayyeh
Mohammad Shtayyeh Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh on Wednesday met a delegation of senior politicians from Australia, headed by former Prime Minister John Howard, in his office in Ramallah.

At the meeting, Shtayyeh accused Israel of repeated violation of international laws and of signed agreements and of striving to thwart the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state by “Judaizing” Jerusalem, expropriating and annexing land, expanding “settlements” and continuing the “siege” on the Gaza Strip.

Shtayyeh noted that the diplomatic process has not yielded any result for 25 years, and therefore it is time to build new foundations that will be an alternative to the bilateral negotiations that have exhausted themselves.

In light of the Israeli effort to thwart the two-state solution, said the PA cabinet leader, it is necessary to move from bilateral negotiations to multilateral negotiations in an international conference, which will involve all parties and which will focus on resolving policy issues based on international law and UN decisions as a source of authority for the political process.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas in 2018 unveiled a diplomatic plan which calls for an international peace conference and for establishing an international mechanism to sponsor the peace process with Israel.

According to Abbas’ plan, the international conference should bring about the implementation of the two-state solution within the pre-1967 borders and realize the Palestinians' right to freedom and independence in a state whose capital is eastern Jerusalem.

While Abbas is promoting this initiative, he has rejected US attempts to restart peace talks with Israel and has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

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