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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Palestinian Authority will govern Gaza – prime minister

Mohammad Mustafa has called on more European states to recognize the State of Palestine, in order to achieve peace in the region

The Palestinian Authority should prepare to govern all Palestinian territories including Gaza, Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa insisted on Sunday during a press conference in Brussels.

The establishment of a Palestinian state is “the only way to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region” and that his government needs “to work quickly to help our people in Gaza” and “prepare for the day that we will be in power in Gaza.”

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The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, based in Ramallah, currently controls only parts of the West Bank – while the rival group Hamas governs Gaza. However, reconciliation talks between the rival factions have been revived since the start of the Israel-Gaza war in October last year.

Mustafa stressed that “the Palestinian government is committed to work hard to support our people in Gaza and to integrate them into Palestinian Authority to work on reforming and improving the performance of our institutions, and deliver good services for our citizens in Gaza and the West Bank, in preparation for full independence and statehood.”

The prime minister’s remarks followed a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares after Spain, along with Ireland and Norway, formally recognized the State of Palestine last week.

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Currently the State of Palestine is recognized by 143 UN members and half of the G20, including China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, and Türkiye.

The Palestinian premier hailed Spain, Ireland and Norway’s move, calling it a first step towards lasting peace in the region, and urged other European countries to follow suit and recognize his nation.

“This is the beginning of realization of peace, rather than a promise of peace that we have been waiting for for 30 years,” Mustafa told reporters, stressing that international recognition of the Palestinian state “is the right thing to do to keep the two-state solution viable, and to keep the hope of peace for our people and the region.”

Israel has repeatedly rejected calls for a two-state solution and has increasingly opposed the creation of an independent Palestine since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which saw some 1,200 people killed and over 250 taken hostage. Israel’s ensuing military campaign in Gaza has so far killed over 35,000 people, according to local health authorities.

In response to last week’s move, Israel summoned Irish, Spanish and Norwegian ambassadors and threatened to lower diplomatic relations with the three nations.