GAZA/WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The prospect of Benjamin Netanyahu returning to power at the head of one of the most right-wing coalitions in the Zionist regime’s history has prompted concern among Palestinians who said they feared it was a prelude to further escalation of conflict with the occupying regime.
Netanyahu’s comeback in Tuesday’s election is set against the backdrop of the deadliest spell of violence in years by the regime against the Palestinians.
Palestinian officials in the West Bank and Gaza Strip said the ultra-nationalist complexion of Netanyahu’s likely alliance, including the firebrand Itamar Ben-Gvir, who once advocated expelling Palestinians, prompted concern over further tension.
“No doubt the result of such a coalition will increase the hostile attitude toward the Palestinian people and make occupation measures more extreme,” Bassam Salhe, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told Reuters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) said the projections coming out of the Zionist regime’s general elections only promise a sizeable swing to the right, boding ill for Palestinians.
“The advance of far-right religious parties in Israeli elections... is testimony to the rise of extremism and racism in Israeli society and from which our people have suffered for years,” the occupied West Bank-headquartered PA’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said on Wednesday.
“We had no illusions that Israeli elections would produce a partner for peace,” he added.
The remarks came after exit polls gave former controversy-magnate Zionist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu 61 to 62 seats in the Knesset, the regime’s parliament, which packs 120 seats.
Netanyahu’s record long drawn-out run as the regime’s prime minister, which lasted from 2009 to 2021, was marked with sheer expansion of Tel Aviv’s illegal settlement activities, which spelled an end to “peace” talks with the Palestinians.
The twilight years of his career were mired in a massive corruption scandal, which eventually had him indicted on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges.
Netanyahu denies the charges, but the scandal delivered a blow to his staying power, and eventually saw him being ousted when the current acting PM Yair Lapid and his coalition partner Naftali Bennett cobbled together an alliance with others.
“We (Palestinians) already experienced Netanyahu’s policy, his policy is always the same, it will never change, we know its impact on the Palestinian people. Netanyahu and his party will benefit from all of that, but the Palestinian people will not, they will not benefit whether economically or socially or in terms of peace and security stability,” Palestinian resident of al-Khalil, Hussam Dofash, told Reuters.
“As a Palestinian, this does not mean anything to me, we tried Netanyahu’s policy before as well as Yair Lapid, both are competing in conducting crimes against Palestinians. Their election campaigns are always launched at the expense of the Palestinian blood. They do not benefit us, on the contrary, they hurt us. Our Palestinian blood is a measure of their success,” said Abdullah Razem, another Palestinian.
The polls, meanwhile, gave Lapid’s camp 54 to 55 seats, making it the second-largest party in the parliament.
Firebrand illegal settler Itamar Ben-Gvir and his Religious Zionism list were poised to be the third-largest party in the parliament after surging in from the political margins.