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Palestine PM says Arab foreign ministers' normalization meeting with Israel ‘illusion’ if occupation continues

The file photo shows Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh at weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah. (Photo by Wafa news agency)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has condemned the recent meeting between Israel and a number of Arab states' foreign ministers on normalization in the occupied Negev, saying holding such meetings while Tel Aviv continues its occupation is just an "illusion."

The Palestinian premier made the remarks during the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah on Monday, a day after top diplomats from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Egypt, Bahrain, the United States, and Israel met in the Negev desert to press ahead with a US-brokered normalization of relations between the Arab states and the Israeli regime, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported.

"We're following with concern Israel's movement in the region,” the Palestinian premier said, adding, “Arab normalization meetings without ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine are just an illusion, a mirage, and a free reward for Israel.” 

Shtayyeh further noted that "Israel is ignoring the causes of our people, half of whom are under occupation and the other half in refugee camps, in exile and the diaspora."

He went on to say that despite Israel's attempts to ignore Palestinian rights, expand its colonial settlements, and destroy any chance of peace, "we have never been more determined to confront this Israeli machine that is destroying our land, people, and sanctities.”

“Those who do not want to see the truth know that we will remain loyal to our land, to our sanctities, the Arab nation, our history, the present of our nation, and the freedom of our heroic people, who are determined to thwart all schemes aimed at undermining our right to independence, sovereignty and freedom," the Palestinian premier said.

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad have already denounced the meetings which were held on Sunday and Monday in light of renewed Israeli violence in Negev, where the Israeli regime is planning to construct new illegal settlements there.

The Israeli regime’s pushing ahead with more settlements comes in light of the US-brokered normalization deals between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain in September 2020.Morocco and Sudan later reached similar US-brokered deals with the Israeli regime.

The deals have been roundly condemned by Palestinians as a brazen betrayal of their cause.

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