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Jun 09, 2020
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Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh: We Are Reconsidering Our 1993 Recognition Of Israel; We Will Continue To Pay Salaries To Families Of Prisoners And 'Martyrs'

#8061 | 01:47
Source: Palestinian Authority TV

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a June 8, 2020 interview on Palestine TV that because the Palestinian Authority remained steadfast when it came to paying salaries to the families of Palestinians prisoners and "martyrs" despite Israeli pressure, the Israelis have backtracked on their demands to stop the payments. He emphasized the PA's commitment to paying these salaries and he added that recognition of Israel by the PLO is currently being discussed by the PLO's judicial committees. He explained that the PLO views this as a potential way to pressure Israel through the United Nations or diplomatic avenues.

Mohammad Shtayyeh: "[The Israelis] said that they want to deduct everything that we paid to the prisoners [from the tax revenues Israel collects for us], but we remained steadfast. We did not accept this deduction, and we continued to pay the prisoners and the [families of] the martyrs in full. We will remain committed to this until Judgement Day, until we are victorious, until the bloodbath stops, and until the prisons are closed. This is one issue to which we remained committed. The Israelis said: 'You have to close 40,000 bank accounts that belong to prisoners.' Some banks were afraid and all that, but we said to these banks: 'That is a political decision. It is forbidden for Israel to expand its military rule to the Palestinian lands. Stay steadfast on this issue!' The Israelis backtracked. Just as they backtracked on this, on that, and on other things when were steadfast and we persevered, I believe that on July 1 we will be in a different position.


Interviewer: "You mentioned that [rescinding the PLO's] recognition of Israel is up for discussion. What does that mean? Where can things go from here, if Israel continues with these measures and its plans to annex parts of the West Bank?"

Shtayyeh: "This is being discussed now by the judicial committees that are studying ways in which we can use this bargaining chip to pressure Israel - whether via the United Nations, or by exchanging new mutual letters [to replace the 1993 letters of recognition]."

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