Palestinian PM says will block Israeli military from Area A ‘with our bodies’

Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh

The National  /  October 13, 2019

Mohammad Shtayyeh said he would put a stop to ‘such invasions’ of that area of the occupied West Bank

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has pledged to stop Israeli soldiers from entering Area A of the occupied West Bank, the part of the territory under Palestinian control according to the Oslo Peace Accords, and carrying out raids there.

“We will prevent the Israeli occupation army from raiding Area A, not with violence but with our bodies,” Mr Shtayyeh told the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds in an interview published on Saturday.

“Israel is invading the PA’s territories, and the signed agreements do not allow for such invasions.”

Palestinians say that such raids have been on the increase in recent months. Israel carries out arrest raids against Palestinians that it says could harm Israeli security. They are often met with resistance, particularly in the territory’s refugee camps.

It is unclear what action Mr Shtayyeh would take to follow up his proclamation.

In August, he threatened that Palestinians would extend their control over the whole of the occupied West Bank in response to Israeli violations against the agreements that govern the territory.

He was referring to buildings that Israel demolished two weeks ago in a part of occupied East Jerusalem known as Wadi Hummus, which falls under the control of the Palestinian government.

In December, Israeli forces raided the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah and the offices of the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. Palestinians seek a sovereign state that would include both territories, and East Jerusalem as its capital. Israel says it does not want a Palestinian state on its border for security reasons.

Most Palestinians in the occupied West Bank these days live in Areas A and B, partly because Israel rarely provides permits for Palestinians to build in Area C while frequently granting them to Jewish Israeli settlers.