Highlights- The Opening Statement by Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Shtayyeh at the Cabinet's 84th Session


- The relationship that binds us with Israel is that of an occupied people with an occupying state based on international law and international legitimacy decisions. It is not a security or financial relationship, but rather the relationship of an occupied people who want their freedom and struggle for salvation from the occupation.

- Israel doesn't respect signed agreements, the reference point for the relationship with the occupying power, including on the reopening of Jerusalem’s institutions, operating the safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza, the return of our employees to the bridges as was the case, halting settlements and confiscation of lands, holding elections in Jerusalem, making all lands under Palestinian sovereignty, and abolishing the civil administration, the freedom of movement of goods and individuals, the release of the remaining batch of former prisoners, the Hebron agreement, and dozens of items related to land, water, economy, crossings, movement, etc., and considering that the final status issues include Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements, and prisoners.

- The Israeli side must fulfill its obligations regarding these provisions, and no one can expect our unilateral compliance. We call on the international community to make Israel abide by the agreements and push for a political process according to the terms of reference of international law and resolutions under multilateral international auspices. We want a political process that ends the occupation. Whatever we demand is our right and is ours; our freedom, our land, our money, lifting the siege on our Jerusalem and our people in Gaza.

- Our money should be undiminished, and our livelihood is not subject to political blackmailing. Receiving our withheld tax money from the occupation will help us overcome the difficult financial situation imposed on us by the occupation, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the steep fall in international aid.

- The crisis that we have suffered has affected employees and members of the security forces, retirees, tens of thousands of recipients of aid and social benefits, private sector companies, and others. Thank you all for your steadfastness. Thank you for your high sense of patriotism and your understanding of the nature of the confrontation. Once again, you have proven the Palestinian people's ability to drop the conspiracies that aim to distort our national cause, and you have defeated the (Israeli) annexation project.

-Your rights are our priority, and we will pay all the arrears as soon as we receive our money in full from the Israeli side. If we receive all of our dues, we will pay you all the arrears in one go. If not, we will pay whatever amount we will receive. We will prioritize salaries and the health sector dues [including to the civil and private hospitals and suppliers of medicines and medical equipment]. We will help the poor and the unemployed, the contractors, and small suppliers and bids to supply and equip the security forces- then we will repay the government loans from the banks.

-These payments will provide liquidity that will address part of the outstanding issues and revitalize the Palestinian market, directly affected by employee expenditures and private sector payments. 

Payments will enable us to complete our government program supporting education, the economy, and agriculture. As much as the health situation allows, we will resume the training programs for the youth to create new job opportunities, achieve a gradual disengagement from the Israeli colonial occupation, strengthen the national economy's productivity, and complete our plans that were hindered by the withholding of our tax funds.

-It is alarming that Coronavirus is spreading at an accelerating rate in the various Palestinian governorates. Adherence to the precautionary and preventive measures is not optional; it is a duty of every citizen. You are not free to transmit the virus to other people. Those who violate the preventive measures will be subjected to punishment.

- Upon the directions of H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas, and in light of the alarming developments, and in consultation with the Emergency and Security Committees, the Governors and the Ministry of Health, we have decided to close all commercial and service facilities from Friday morning until Sunday morning in all governorates, except for bakeries and pharmacies - to be followed by a closure starting from 7:00 p.m. until 06:00 in the morning every day for 14 days in all governorates. These limited measures aim to control the rapid rise in infections and allow the healthcare teams to count the cases.

- On the internal level,  there is no backtracking on the option of national unity, which has always been a strategic commitment. Everyone is still awaiting official and written approval from Hamas movement to hold the elections, which we consider crucial to achieving unity. Holding the elections is a national and factional priority and a critical matter to end the division and unify our homeland.

- The attempt to consider normalization with Arab countries as an alternative to peace with the Palestinians is an escape from the truth. We are here steadfast in our land; we will not budge/ move.

- We are saddened by the news that Arab countries are holding talks on opening embassies in Israel, especially since these countries do not have embassies and diplomatic missions in the State of Palestine, which they recognize. We affirm the President's call for an Arab-Arab dialogue on the current situation; to coordinate with us in any matter that affects us.

-Pompeo's visit to Psagot settlement, established on Al-Bireh lands, and his announcement to change the labeling of the goods produced in Israeli settlements as being produced in Israel, and to use separate labels for goods made in the West Bank and those made in Gaza, come in the context of the attack on the rights of our people and the violation of international law. It aims to tear the Palestinian geography apart, legitimize settlements, and to create facts in front of the new administration in Washington.

-We condemn the settlers' attacks on the residents of al-Tawana village in Masafer Yatta, on Jenin, Anin village, Beit Fajjar, Kafr Qaddum, and Burin, and the attempts to evacuate the citizens from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah and the erection of a candlestick on the rooftop of the Ibrahimi Mosque in a provocation of the feelings of Muslims. We call on international human rights institutions to intervene and stop these attacks, covered up by the Israeli judiciary that recently rejected all lawsuits opposing the settlers' plan to construct an elevator in the Tomb of the Patriarchs for the implementation of the plan soon; to change the features of this holy site.

-We welcome the overwhelming majority vote of 163 countries, in the Third Committee of the UNGA, in favor of a resolution for the Palestinian people's right to self-determination. We also welcome the endorsement of the Second Committee of the UNGA of a resolution, adopted by 153 countries, for the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, over their natural resources - and for the Arab population in the occupied Arab Syrian Golan.


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