Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday unveiled a plan by his government to create a de facto Palestinian state in two years amid an international drive to jump-start peace talks.
The Palestinian government is determined to build state institutions without waiting for the outcome of peace talks with the Israelis, Fayyad said at a news conference in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
"The Palestinian government is struggling determinedly against a hostile occupation regime... in order to establish a de facto state apparatus within the next two years," he said.
"This can and must happen within two years," he said, calling on Palestinians -- deeply divided since the June 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza, the smaller part of their promised state -- to rally behind the plan.
"We must confront the whole world with the reality that Palestinians are united and steadfast in their determination to remain on their homeland, end the occupation and achieve their freedom and independence," he said.
"The world should also know that we are not prepared to continue living under a brutal occupation and siege that flouts not only the law, but also the principles of natural justice and human decency," added the Palestinian prime minister.
"This government seeks to involve all sectors and segments of society in the national drive to develop and advance our institutions."
According to Fayyad, the building of state institutions "must coincide with Palestinian unity and international intervention that will force Israel
to live up to its commitments."
He also said the future state will need another airport in the West Bank in addition to the existing one in Gaza.
"We will not be (passive) anymore; we will be the initiators and set up a de facto Palestinian state," he stated.
Among the steps listed in the program unveiled on Tuesday was disentangling the Palestinian economy's dependence on Israel, trimming the size of the government and unifying the legal system that at present is a hodgepodge of Ottoman, British, Jordanian and Israeli laws and regulations.
In an interview with the London Times, published Tuesday, Fayyad said, "We have decided to be proactive, to expedite the end of the occupation by working very hard to build positive facts on the ground, consistent with having our state emerge as a fact that cannot be ignored. This is our agenda, and we want to pursue it doggedly."