World Bulletine/News Desk
Israel will not end the occupation of Palestine unless the European Union and the international community make Israel's "occupation" costly, says Mohammad Shtayyeh, Head of Palestinian Economic Council for Research and Development.
The Palestinians constantly accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" Al-Quds (Arabic name for the city of Jerusalem) with the aim of effacing its Arab and Islamic identity. They also insist that Israeli settlement buildings must stop before a comprehensive peace agreement can be reached.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Shtayyeh, said "The EU can boycott Israeli products, and prohibit settlers from getting into the Euro zone. He also said that the European passport settlers could be prohibited by the EU from living in Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories because their presence there is illegal.
"The EU can say to Israel, 'Look, from now on we are linking economic relations with your behavior against Palestinians,'" he added.
International law considers the West Bank and Al-Quds occupied territories taken by Israel in 1967 as illegal and views all Jewish settlement building on the land unlawful.
Shtayyeh also hailed the importance of the peace deal between the two Palestinian rival factions, Hamas and Fatah.
"Palestinian unity is very crucial for the future of Palestine. We say that there will not be a Gaza state only and there will be no Palestine without Gaza," Shtayyeh said. "With the upcoming elections, there will be a total end to the split between Hamas and Fatah."
In late April, Hamas and Fatah hammered out a reconciliation deal in the Gaza Strip, ending a rift that persisted between the two Palestinian factions since 2007. Israel unilaterally suspended the U.S.-backed peace talks with Palestine in response to the unity agreement.
When asked about the timing of the peace agreement between the Palestinian rival factions before the designated deadline of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on April 29, Shtayyeh declared that Hamas was in negotiations with Fatah but no agreement was reached until April 23rd.
"Hamas is now more serious because they are out of Syria and Iran. Obliged or by will, we want to make this happen and we want the peace to be as successful as it should be," he added.
Shtayyeh said the main reason Israel halted the peace process is its refusal to release the Palestinian prisoners and its ongoing settlement in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"Fatah, Hamas peace deal came after the prisoners' issue, and not before that," said Shtayyeh.
The Palestinian Administration and Israel reached an agreement last July on the release of 104 long-serving Palestinian prisoners as part of a deal to resume U.S.-brokered peace talks.
Israel released three batches of prisoners, but refused to release a fourth group of 26 Palestinians in March this year – despite earlier pledges to do so. Israeli forces arrested another 16 Palestinians in the West Bank in May 2014.
Shtayyeh said that the success for a peaceful deal needs "a serious recipe" and involves the release of the Palestinian prisoners, the halting of Jewish settlements in Palestinian territory and Israel to "show their map" referring to Israel's territorial claims.
"We want Israel to show the world what the map of Israel represents and where Israeli territory lies," said Shtayyeh. "Because without showing a map, we are not sure what we are talking about."Last Mod: 17 Mayıs 2014, 10:09