Palestinians see new Israeli govt as same or worse than Netanyahu

By Muhammad Majid


GAZA, Palestine (AA): Palestinian resistance group Hamas said Sunday that it does not foresee any positive changes from Israel’s post-Netanyahu government, with other leaders saying they expect the new government to be even worse.

“We aren’t counting on any change in the occupation governments, since they are united on the policy of killing and confiscating Palestinian rights,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri wrote on Twitter.

Abu Zuhri attributed former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to form a government to “the successive repercussions of the victory of the resistance” in 11 days of fighting between Hamas and Israel this May.

Under the new coalition agreement between eight Israeli parties, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is to lead the Israeli government for two years followed by centrist Yair Lapid for two more years.

The new government means the end of Netanyahu’s 12-year reign.

‘Not a change government’

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry, for its part, said that “it is inaccurate to call the new Israeli government a change government … because its policies will not change from the previous government, if we do not see worse policies than it.”

In a statement, the ministry posed a host of questions on the government led by Bennett, including: “What is the position of the new government regarding the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and the establishment of their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital?”

“What is its position of the settlement and annexation processes? What is its position on Jerusalem and respect for the historical and legal situation there? Its position on the signed agreements? Its position on the resolutions of international legitimacy? Its position on the two-state solution and negotiations on the basis of the principle of land for peace?”

Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative movement, warned that Bennett’s government will push for illegal settlements and racial discrimination and will be more extreme than the previous government.

“This new government is no different from the Netanyahu government, as it is a government of occupation, colonial settlement, and racial discrimination like the previous government and even worse,” Barghouti told Anadolu Agency, stressing that Bennett is “more extremist than Netanyahu.”

As evidence, he cited Bennett’s statements on Sunday about expanding settlements to area C of the West Bank.

Under the 1995 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was divided into three portions – Area A, B, and C – with area C under administrative and security control of Israel until a final status agreement is reached with the Palestinians.

Barghouti called on Palestinians and the world to confront the “racist government” through popular resistance, boycotts, and sanctions.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

[Photo: Naftali Benett, leader of the Yamina Party and new Israeli Prime Minister. Photo by Israeli Parliament Handout/AA]

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