RamallahZack Wajsgras/Flash 90

Hussein Al-Sheikh, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee who recently met with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, refers to Israel as an "enemy" of the Palestinian people.

Al-Sheikh noted that ongoing contacts with Israeli officials are "part of the state of conflict and the negotiations in the relations between the people and the occupation and the occupier."

"Negotiation does not mean cooperation, but is one of the forms of confrontation when you negotiate with your enemy," he claimed.

Al-Sheikh added that "the Palestinian-Israeli conflict cannot be ended in one move," emphasizing the need to build the institutions of the Palestinian people and strengthen their steadfastness and existence alongside the fight for the establishment of an independent state.

He expressed opposition to economic or social peace, saying, "I am sorry to say that there is no partner on the Israeli side, no Israeli partner in establishing peace."

Al-Sheikh pointed to differences in the political approach between the Palestinians and Israel. "When they talk about a two-state solution, the differences between us are revealed. Some among them want a state in Gaza, and some talk about a Gaza state with autonomy in the West Bank, and a group that supports the West Bank cantons, and the majority there believes that a united Jerusalem is the capital of Israel."

Al-Sheikh, 61, was recently named to the PLO’s Executive Committee and is considered to be a potential successor to Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.