The newly appointed Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said in an interview with the Associated Press earlier this week that the much-anticipated United States peace plan to be presented in the coming months will be “born dead.”

Shtayyeh told the AP, “There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump.”

The AP noted that the Palestinians have prioritized paying Palestinian terrorists out of its “martyr’s fund” over other budget priorities. For example, now that the United States and Israel have imposed punitive measures on the PA for its refusal to negotiate and its continued financial incentives to terrorists, “the Palestinian Authority has begun paying only half salaries to tens of thousands of civil servants, reduced services and increased borrowing.”

Yet Shtayyeh demands that any peace process end in Palestinian statehood.

The PA prime minister insisted that the Trump administration’s actions towards Israel, especially the recognition of Jerusalem, have made it impossible for there to be peace. He also said that Europe would never accept a plan that didn’t conform to “key” Palestinian demands.

“Where are we going to have the Palestinian state?” Shtayyeh asked. “We are not looking for an entity. We are looking for a sovereign state.”

(In his final speech before the Knesset, the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin described peace with a Palestinian “entity,” that would be “less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority.”)

Shtayyeh’s interview appeared at the same time that Palestinian Media Watch published an interview with PA negotiator Saeb Erekat, who admitted that former PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas turned down an offer from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that amounted to more than 100% of the West Bank.

PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat who was present at the negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Abbas in 2008, recently told PA TV how generous Olmert’s offer was on all final status issues. In fact, Olmert literally accepted all of the PA’s publicly expressed demands, and even offered Abbas more than the full area of the West Bank and Gaza, and yet Abbas still rejected the offer.

In addition, according to Erekat, Olmert even offered Abbas a division of Jerusalem that would have given the Palestinians control over the holy sites in the city.

Abbas still said no.

This recent account seems to contradict a previous interview given by Erekat. In 2009, in an interview with Al Jazeera, Erekat indicated that Abbas rejected the 2008 offer because it didn’t include all of the territory in the West Bank.

Regardless of the extent of the offer from Olmert, it was at least a vast majority of what the Palestinians were demanding and Abbas still said no.

For Shtayyeh to protest about the unseen Trump peace plan because it may not offer statehood is hypocritical. His boss (and before him Yasser Arafat) have turned down deals that would have resulted in statehood. The Palestinians have never demonstrated an interest in making peace — they didn’t even negotiate in good faith when President Obama was in office.

This is just one more excuse.

[Photo: euronews (عــربي) / YouTube ]


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