(Cabinet Meeting (9

In his opening statement, during the weekly Cabinet meeting held in Ramallah today, Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh welcomed the calls made by President Mahmoud Abbas on holding general elections, stressing that the Government is fully ready to make this event a success and to implement it to the fullest extent possible when a national agreement is reached.

Prime Minister Dr. Shtayyeh reiterated the total rejection of the Palestinian leadership of the Manama workshop and any participation in it, stressing that the solution is not economic, but political, and that the occupation must be eliminated, thus the economic reality would change. Dr. Shtayyeh also confirmed that the leadership rejected to receive the Palestinian tax revenues from the Israeli side if deducted, and that it will never accept claims describing the detained Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and the Palestinian National Authority as terrorists.

In another context, the Cabinet hailed the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Finance for signing, under the auspices of Prime Minister Dr. Shtayyeh, a number of agreements with the World Bank at a cost of 15 million dollars and the French Development Agency at a cost of 10 million Euros.

The Cabinet, in this regard, expressed its gratitude to the World Bank and the French Development Agency for their support to the Palestinian Government, especially in the development sector, stressing that this support contributes to building the state and achieving sustainable development.

The Cabinet also commended the inauguration of Al-Fukhari (Sofa) sanitary landfill site near the city of Khan Younis, under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government. This landfill would benefit more than 800,000 citizens as part of the Gaza Solid Waste Management Project (GSWMP), funded by the Municipal Development and Lending Fund at a cost of 32 million dollars in addition to the contribution of the Palestinian government.

In this context, he Cabinet expressed its deepest appreciation to the French Development Agency, the World Bank, the European Union and Sweden for their generous support in the implementation process of this project, which confirms that the fundamental path to fulfill the needs of our citizens in the Gaza Strip, improve their living conditions and develop services is achieved through providing support to the competent authorities in the Palestinian Government and cooperating with them because they have a clear, comprehensive executable plan for development and reconstruction through teams operating with transparency and high responsibility.

Finally, the Cabinet welcomed the joint Russian-Chinese statement on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which called for avoiding any steps that undermine the two-state solution in the Middle East and support the establishment of an independent and viable State of Palestine within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Cabinet commended these positions in support of the rights of the Palestinian people and also welcomed the initiative of the Arab private sector to hold the Arab Economic Conference in response to the Manama Workshop in Bahrain.

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