END OCCUPATION – demands the Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh

Children in Gaza search for their books in the rubble of their home destroyed by Israeli bombardment

PALESTINIAN Prime Minister Mohammad Shtay-yeh yesterday called for a serious track to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and establish the Palestinian state.

In his speech opening the cabinet’s weekly session in Ramallah, Shtayyeh called for a ‘serious and real track’ to bring the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories to an end, establish the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and secure the return of refugees.

He pointed to the need to support an international political initiative to this end in line with United Nations resolutions and international law, and stressed that the current political vacuum and Israel’s policy of fait accompli should end.

Discussing the latest Israeli onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip, which killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, 39 women, 17 elderly people, five disabled people, wounded over 1,910 others and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished area, Shtayyeh said that the Strip requires urgent relief besides two programmes – one for Gaza’s reconstruction and rehabilitation and the other for reviving its already devastated economy.

Meanwhile, Jordan and Egypt have supported US president Biden’s new found enthusiasm for a two-state solution in Palestine.

‘Reconstruction in Gaza is being heavily discussed and we have to create a real atmosphere to put an end to the occupation and to bring peace,’ Ayman Sayfadi, Jordan’s Foreign Minister said at a joint press briefing with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry yesterday in Amman.

‘Along with my brother, we will both meet the US Secretary of State. We will be having contact with the European partners and with our brothers in the Arab world.

‘The Arab Republic of Egypt has exerted great effort and made a high achievement. The role of Egypt is highly appreciated in brokering the ceasefire and in supporting the Palestinian people in their legitimate right. We have the same goal.’

Egypt’s FM Shoukry said: ‘The identity of Jerusalem must be maintained and kept, the holy sites must be maintained and kept. The Sheikh Jarrah cause must be sorted out and solved. We have no need for violence and clashes.

‘We have seen the result of the Israeli aggression and the clashes with Hamas. We have seen the suffering of our brothers in the Gaza Strip, the damage that has been caused in the West Bank because of the settlement policy.

‘We are boosting the relationship between Jordan and Egypt, we will increase our joint work to maintain and keep the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people until we see the Palestinian State. And East Jerusalem will be the capital of this Palestinian State.’

He added: ‘US President Biden and his Secretary of State (Blinken) have mentioned the importance of sorting out the two-state matter. The Palestinian people have to get their legitimate rights.’