The head of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR), Mohammad Shtayyeh, has called on European countries to freeze the EU-Israel Association agreement if Israel continues its aggression and settlement expansion.
During a meeting with a parliamentary delegation from left-wing European parties, Shtayyeh clarified the political situation after the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip and discussed the new developments in the Palestinian arena.
He called on Europe to play a role in resolving the dispute resulting from Israel’s continued occupation, adding that Palestine is at the core of the region and resolving the Palestinian issue would contribute to solving many of the problems in the region.
Shtayyeh also spoke to the parliamentarians about the need to put pressure on their countries to withdraw European citizenship from Israel settlers with dual nationalities who live in the Palestinian territories illegally. He pointed out that around 5,000 Israeli soldiers hold dual nationality and are currently serving in the Israeli army.
He briefed the delegation on a report about the reconstruction and development of Gaza, which was prepared by PECDAR’S engineers in the Strip. The report estimates that reconstructing and developing Gaza would cost about $7.8 billion. Ishtayeh added that the scale of destruction in Gaza is “unprecedented and needs generous help” from Europe.
Shtayyeh said Israel’s continuous settlement activity is a slap in the face of the international community, the biggest example of this being the fact that Israel is holding on to its decision to confiscate 2,000 dunams of land south of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, a move that has been condemned by the international community. He maintained that Israel is working to destroy the possibility of a Palestinian state by expanding the settlements.
Report by Qais Abu Samra, Anadolu news agency