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  • Mohammed Shtayyeh said that If Israel annexes part of the West Bank, the Palestinians will declare a state based on the pre-1967 borders.

    Mohammed Shtayyeh said that If Israel annexes part of the West Bank, the Palestinians will declare a state based on the pre-1967 borders. | Photo: Wafa

Published 9 June 2020
Opinion

The proposal seeks a "sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarised", with East Jerusalem as its capital, the PA prime minister said.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) said it made a counterproposal to U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East plan, proposing the establishment of a demilitarised and sovereign Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem, and besieged Gaza.

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The main thrust of the proposal is the establishment of a "sovereign Palestinian state, independent and demilitarised," with East Jerusalem as its capital. It also allows the possibility of adapting the borders between the proposed state and Israel, as well as exchanging land equal "in size and volume and in value - one to one," Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told journalists at a press conference.

An international body made up of the United Nations, the European Union, the U.S., and Russia, tasked with mediating peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, received the counterproposal.

Tuesday’s announcement came as a response to Trump's controversial plan that consents to Israel’s annexation of large parts of the occupied West Bank, including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley.

Announced in late January, Trump's plan granted Palestinians a disjointed and demilitarised entity with a capital on the outskirts of Jerusalem, while the disputed city would remain fully under Israeli sovereignty.

In addition, the planned Israeli annexation would deprive Palestinians of key agricultural land and water resources. It would also effectively kill the two-state solution to the conflict.

Shtayyeh warned that if the Israeli government moved ahead with the planned annexation, "the Palestinian government will issue an announcement to establish a constitution for the [intended] state and establish a founding council" to function in the place of Parliament.

Senior leader and member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Wasel Abu Yousef, described the proposal as "part of several steps the Palestinian leadership is working on, such as achieving Palestinian unity, boycotting Israeli products and pressing ahead with war crimes charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court ( ICC) for its war on Gaza in 2014."

"No Palestinian leader can agree to the American and Israeli conditions to give up the right of return of Palestinian refugees, agreeing to the annexation of Jerusalem or allowing Israel to annex parts of the West Bank where it had built its illegal Jewish settlements," he told Al Jazeera.

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