The new Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused the United States of declaring “financial war” on his people and said an American peace plan purported to be in the works will be “born dead”. The Trump administration has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars of aid, including all of its support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.
In his first interview with the international media since taking office over the weekend, Mohammad Shtayyeh laid out plans to get through the financial crisis he has inherited and predicted that the international community, including US allies in the Arab world, would join the Palestinians in rejecting President Donald Trump’s expected peace plan.
“There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump,” Shtayyeh said during a wide-ranging hour-long interview on Tuesday.
Earlier, the United States congratulated the new Palestinian government on Sunday, a day after incoming prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh announced his new cabinet alongside president Mahmud Abbas. "Congratulations to the new Palestinian Authority Cabinet," tweeted Jason Greenblatt, assistant to US President Donald Trump and special representative for international negotiations.
"With the experience of those on the list, we hope we will be able to work together toward peace and improving Palestinian lives. It's time for a new chapter."
A new government for the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority was sworn in Saturday. As peace talks with Israel ran aground years ago and the Trump administration will likely put forward a peace plan that the Palestinians say favours Israel, Abbas badly needed to garner power at home and extend his control back to Gaza, which Hamas governs separately.
The Palestinian leadership fears that Israel would retain major Jewish settlements in the West Bank and that the seat of the future Palestinian state would be in Gaza instead.
Ishtayeh's government, which controls those parts of the West Bank on which the PA has autonomy, doesn't feature significant changes from its predecessor. Five members, including those of foreign affairs, finance and the two premier deputies, retained their posts. Ishtayeh holds the interior and religious portfolios.