Mohammad Shtayyeh
Mohammad Shtayyeh Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh on Monday hinted at the possibility that the PLO would cancel its recognition of Israel if it decides, as he put it, to “destroy the possibility of establishing an independent Palestinian state within the June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

In an interview with the Palestine TV network, Shtayyeh said that the PA has a number of ways to take action in response to an Israeli sovereignty move, including the cancellation of the document recognizing Israel signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin in 1993.

He blamed the Israeli government for adopting a strategy of thwarting the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state through a blockade of the Gaza Strip, annexing East Jerusalem and treating Area C of Judea and Samaria as an area to expand the “settlements”.

Shtayyeh stressed that the fight against the Israeli annexation plan is, in the eyes of the Palestinian Arabs, a campaign aimed at maintaining the existence of the national Palestinian enterprise. He called for popular protest actions and unity against Israel.

As a response to the Israeli policy, Shtayyeh said, the PA has severed all ties with Israel except in the water, electricity and private sectors.

Despite Shtayyeh’s threats, the PA has never accepted the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish State, and the PLO charter continues to reject the existence of the State of Israel despite the provision of such recognition in the Oslo Accords.

The PA has expressed outrage over the coalition agreement between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, which stipulates that the government could have applied sovereignty over Judea and Samaria on July 1.

While the July 1 date came and went without Israel applying sovereignty, Israel is continuing its discussions with the US on how to carry out the sovereignty move.

On Sunday, PLO official Saeb Erekat said the PA is seeking to build an international coalition to block Israel’s plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria through diplomatic efforts worldwide.