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Israel voters chose ‘occupation’ not talks: PLO

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The Palestinian leadership slammed the Israeli public on Wednesday for voting for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right wing Likud party, saying they had chosen “occupation and settlement building” over peace talks.

“Israel chose the path of racism, occupation and settlement building, and did not choose the path of negotiations and partnership between us,” senior PLO official Yasser Abed Rabbo told AFP.

In a snap election to Israel’s 120-seat parliament on Tuesday, the Likud beat center-left rivals the Zionist Union by 30 seats to 24.

“We are facing an Israeli society that is sick with racism, and a policy of occupation and settlement building… and ahead of us is a long and difficult road of struggle against Israel,” Abed Rabbo said.

“We must complete our steps to stop security coordination (with Israel) and go to the Hague tribunal to move against settlements and Israel’s crimes in its war on Gaza.”

Relations between Israel and the Palestinians have deteriorated sharply since US-brokered talks between president Mahmud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority and Netanyahu’s government collapsed in April last year.

The breakdown was followed by violence in Jerusalem, a bloody war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and Palestinian moves against Israel at the United Nations and the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

The PLO says it will seek action against Israel at the ICC as early as next month.

In the final stages of the campaign, Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state if reelected, effectively reneging on his 2009 endorsement of a two-state solution.

He also pledged to build thousands of homes for Jewish settlers in annexed Palestinian East Jerusalem to prevent future concessions to the Palestinians.

Commenting on the Netanyahu’s victory, leadership of the Palestinian Authority also announced they are not concerned about about who the future Israeli prime minister will be, says Nabli Abu Rdeina, a spokesman of Mahmoud Abbas.

“What we want is a government which endorses the two-state solution with East Jerusalem as capital of the Palestinian state.” Abu Rdeina said Wednesday. MAANNEWS


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