Excerpts from the Speech of H.E. The Prime Minister of the State of Palestine at the Brussels Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee Meeting



Excerpts from the Speech of H.E. The Prime Minister of the State of Palestine at the Brussels Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee Meeting 



Brussels, Tuesday, May 10, 2022 -


His Excellency the Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh, called for the end of the Israeli occupation, the immediate settlement moratorium, unilateral actions, and illegal settlers' aggression. Furthermore, Dr. Mohammed called for the release of the withheld Palestinian funds, the transfer of the eligible Palestinian funds, the abidance with the agreements reached, and the preservation of the city of Jerusalem's historical order and the city's religious and political status.

His Excellency called on the international community to continue to support Palestine to renew the hope in Palestine, to work for the preservation of the two-State solution, to apply the same standards with regard to occupation wherever it may be, to apply the indivisible law everywhere, and to respect human rights, thus creating a political horizon, obliging Israel to commit to the agreements signed with Palestine and to respect them.


“At a time of such a challenging international political conjuncture, the war in Europe and the Ukrainian crisis, in pain for the scenes of refugees, destruction, and blood. We, as Palestinians, are the ablest ones to feel the misery of seeking refuge, destruction, and murder. We are already living under occupation. Palestinians have been living in refugee camps for the last (74) years”


These comments were made by the Palestinian Prime Minister himself, during an Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meeting on Tuesday in the Belgian capital of Brussels, with senior broad international participation from (30) countries and international institutions aimed at mobilizing financial and development support for the State of Palestine.

Dr. Shtayyeh stated, "Today, we are in difficult conditions, more difficult than before. There is a political vacuum, no political initiative, and no negotiations with Israel. The Quartet is paralyzed, and the Israeli government does not want negotiations or a political solution to end the occupation. Since its declaration, the Arab Peace Initiative has not been effective; no one has taken it seriously, and Arab countries' normalizing ties with Israel has failed the Arab Peace Initiative."

The Prime Minister pointed out the evolution of conditions on the ground, most notably Israel's implementation of its strategy to systematically destroy the two-state solution through the invasions of Al-Aqsa mosque, allowing the forced entry of settlers into it, blockading the city of Jerusalem and preventing Palestinians from visiting it, as well as field executions and arrests.

Dr. Mohammed confirmed that various Israeli governments encourage and expand illegal settlements and seize Palestinian citizens' land for this purpose. Moreover, he pointed out that during the tenure of the current government, illegal settlements were concentrated in the governorates of Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Nablus. More than (5022) illegal settlement compounds had been built in those areas, with more than 750 thousand illegal settlers, including Jerusalem governorate. Dr. Shtayyeh said, "These illegal settlers have embraced the policy of terrorism and have formed mobs to attack holy places, destroy agricultural land, and onslaught citizens and their property."

His Excellency further stated, “Israel had recently destroyed (384), including (64) facilities that were financed by donor countries and restricted housing construction for Palestinians. Israel forced some Palestinians to build without a permit because the Israeli authorities do not grant Palestinians permits as they grant illegal settlers. Lately, Israel intends to demolish (12) villages and a Bedouin community in the area of Musaffer Yatta, southern Hebron.”

Furthermore, Dr. Shtayyeh added, “In accordance with the agreement reached with Israel, Israel is obliged not to take any action that would prejudice final status issues. Illegal settlement construction destroys the final status issues.”

The Prime Minister continued: "Since our previous meeting in Oslo, Israel has pledged to implement some issues but has not transferred Palestinian funds and has continued to construct illegal settlements, deduct Palestinian revenues, and illegally capture citizens. Israeli ministers refuse to meet with their Palestinian counterparts, in addition to Israel's aggressive media statements from Israeli officials and members of the Knesset."

As he reviewed the economic conditions in Palestine, Dr. Shtayyeh said, "We are beginning to recover from the coronavirus pandemic crisis, and GDP rose by 7% in 2021." Moreover, he added, "The Palestinian economy suffers from an imbalance in its composition. It is a confined and besieged economy that does not control its resources or capabilities, living in an exceptional situation imposed by the reality of the occupation and its procedures. The Israeli occupation prohibits investors from entering Palestine without its permission, prohibits university professors from entering without the Israeli occupation's permission, and prohibits projects in the so-called "C" area, which constitutes 61% of the West Bank, without the Israeli occupation's authority's permission.

Dr. Mohammed pointed out that of the limited areas under Palestinian control, from which taxes are collected, government work is taking place in the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, the "C" area, and the Palestinian diaspora. An exceptional situation since no tax revenues are collected from those areas.

On the unemployment situation in Palestine, the Prime Minister said: "Unemployment rate declined in the final quarter of 2021 fell to 13% after reaching 18% in 2019. In Gaza Strip, unemployment remained as high as it is, due to new work areas and employment in Israel."

Dr. Shtayyeh noted that the government bears approximately 157 million NIS per month due to the differences between the pre-crisis phase in Ukraine and post-crisis prices, owing to the rise in essential goods, petroleum, and electricity prices. Adding that: "There is a decline in international assistance to the government treasury, with continued assistance to projects, and we thank you for that."

His Excellency went on to say: "In the past years, we have utilized all of our financial capabilities to address the coronavirus pandemic, providing all tests, treatments, and vaccinations free of charge to citizens, and this has greatly exhausted us, but the results and performance have been excellent."

The Prime Minister asserted that: "The Israeli-Palestinian Economic Protocol, known as the (Paris Protocol on Economic Relations), has not been updated since 1994, and that Israel refuses to meet with the Joint Economic Committee, known as the JEC."

"Today, we have presented you with an agenda of about (21) reform steps concerning administrative, financial, and security issues, side by side with social and economic aspects. This agenda needs your support and time to be accomplished, and it has the full support of Mr. President. Not required to perform such reformations, we felt the need to do it," His Excellency said.

Dr. Mohammed continued: "Whatever reformations we implement, they are not by themselves sufficient to address the breakdown in the Palestinian economic structure due to being under colonial settlement occupation. Israel must therefore act on its part, and donor States must continue to support Palestine to enable us to continue to fulfill our obligations."

"To those present, to Norway for its continued chairmanship of the only remaining committee of the Oslo Accords, to Europe for hosting it, to donors who support Palestine politically and financially, and to the protectors of international law and international legitimacy, thank you." 

With these words, the Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Shtayyeh, concluded his statement while reiterating that Palestine, its government, and the Prime Minister himself "will remain proponents of peace, justice, international legitimacy, and international law."









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