File photo shows member of Lib Dem Party Layla Moran during a debate in the British parliament.
File photo shows member of Lib Dem Party Layla Moran during a debate in the British parliament.

Palestinian PM calls on Britain to recognize sovereign Palestinian state


Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called on Britain to implement its parliament’s recognition of the Palestinian state on the ground.

British move “will be so important in light of Israel’s intention to annex parts of the West Bank,” Shtayyeh said in a statement on Tuesday after meeting with a British parliamentary delegation in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

He also urged Britain to send a technical team to Palestine to investigate the Israeli deduction of Palestinian tax revenue dues.

Back in October 2014, the British Parliament overwhelmingly voted in favor of the government recognizing Palestine as a state

The ayes had it when 274 MPs voted to adopt the non-binding motion and only 12 voted against it.

The original motion stipulated that “this House believes that the government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside … Israel.”

Then Labour Party legislator Grahame Morris said recognizing a Palestinian state could help break the impasse in peace negotiations between the Palestinians and the Tel Aviv regime before it was too late.

Conservative lawmaker Nicholas Soames also said that “to recognize Palestine is both morally right and is in our national interest.”

Britain does not designate Palestine as a state, but asserts it could do so at any time if it believed it would help the long-stalled talks peace process between the Palestinians and Israel.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

A member of the British parliament is pushing ahead with legislation in the chamber to recognize the state of Palestine.

Layla Moran, a Lib Dem Party member, has announced she will do her utmost to secure the government’s recognition of the Palestinian state during a historic debate in the House of Commons on Friday.

Moran, the first Commons member of Palestinian descent, said in an article published in parliament’s in-house magazine on Monday that she felt a responsibility toward Palestine, where she still had relatives, and that the misery inflicted on Palestinians by the Israeli regime was extremely painful.

She mentioned her previous attempts to have the government recognize the Palestinian state, saying violence against Palestinians had increased since she was elected in May 2017 general elections.

“I have laid bills before, but this is one of the most personal and poignant. I am the first MP of Palestinian descent and have been in Parliament during a time of extreme violence and hardship in the region,” said Moran.

The 36-year-old MP whom many see as the future leader of the Lib Dem Party, also criticized US President Donald Trump for his decision to move US embassy to the occupied Jerusalem.

“Trump moving the embassy to Jerusalem was another stark reminder of the inequality between Israel and Palestine,” said Moran, adding that Britain had a role to restore the peace talks in the Middle East which she said have suffered as a result of Washington’s unilateral moves on the Israeli-Palestinian case.

“There is a Palestinian state, and it is time for the UK to recognize that,” said Moran.