RAMALLAH, Wednesday, May 18, 2022 (WAFA) - Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh urged the Netherlands to pressure Israel to allow Palestinian elections to be held in Jerusalem and to release the bodies of Palestinians it has been holding.
Shtayyeh made the remarks during a meeting in Ramallah with Dutch Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra.
Shtayyeh stressed that situations in Palestine are complicated as a result of the Israeli escalations on the ground, including the killing, arrests, the acceleration of settlement pace in the West Bank, and the daily incursions into al-Aqsa Mosque by settlers under the protection of the occupation forces and attempts to change the status quo and impose a temporal and spatial division of the holy compound.
He called on the Netherlands and the European Union to play an active role to preserve the two-state solution.
"The situation on the ground as a result of settlement expansion and Israeli measures shows that we are slipping into the reality of one-state, which is the reality of apartheid, and there are many international institutions that have recently issued reports indicating that the Israeli practices against the Palestinians are practices of apartheid," Shtayyeh said.
He renewed his call to pressure Israel to abide by the signed agreements, including allowing elections to take place in Jerusalem on an equal footing with the rest of the Palestinian territories, so that the elections would be a gateway to ending the division and embodying national unity, noting that issues related to water and electricity "are not a substitute for a solution and a political horizon."
The Prime Minister also called on the Netherlands to pressure Israel to release the bodies of the martyrs it withholds, release the withheld tax funds and stop all unjust financial deductions from Palestinian funds.
He appreciated the Netherlands' support for Palestine, based on the principle of partnership and friendship, and its support for the two-state solution.