Palestine

PLO: Israel election results ‘destroy chance for peace’

“The results of the Israeli elections are the natural outcome of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policies throughout his previous tenures of generating fear, hostility and distrust, as well as shifting the whole terrain of political discourse to the racist extreme,” PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said.

Netanyahu’s policies are liable to plunge the whole region into more “extremism and violence,” the senior official said, adding that under such a regime Israel will continue to be a “rogue state” which is contributing to its own “isolation and delegitimization.”

“We believe it is the responsibility of the international community and its institutions, including the International Criminal Court, to end Israel’s impunity, to curb Israeli violations and to prevent Netanyahu from carrying out his dangerous plans.”

The PLO’s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the election results prove the success of a campaign platform based on “settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.”

“Now, more than ever, the international community must act. It must rally behind Palestinian efforts to internationalize our struggle for dignity and freedom through the International Criminal Court, other agencies ,and through all other peaceful means.”

President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, said he was willing to work with any Israeli government that accepts the principle of a two-state solution.

“It doesn’t matter to us who the next prime minister of Israel is, what we expect from this government is to recognize the two-state solution,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement.

“On this basis, we will continue to cooperate with any Israeli government that is committed to international resolutions.”

His comments come despite the fact that Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state if reelected immediately before the election, effectively reneging on his 2009 endorsement of a two-state solution.

The Likud party took 30 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, with the center-left Zionist Union a distant second on 24.

Netanyahu pledged to establish a new government within weeks and said he had already spoken with rightwing and religious party leaders whose support he will need to form a majority coalition.

The total number of seats won by the Joint List — an alliance formed by United Arab List, Ta’al, Balad and Hadash –increased from 13 to 14 Wednesday morning as 99 percent of the votes were counted from elections for the 20th Knesset.

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