As the results of elections in Israel become clear and the coalition negotiations begin, Israel’s enemies are reacting to the Right’s strong win.
While Iran and Hamas say it makes no difference, the Palestinian Authority considers ending security cooperation with the Jewish state and pushing ahead with its bid to charge Israel with war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Meanwhile, the European Union is urging Israel to renew peace talks with Palestinians now that the elections are over.
“For us there is no difference between the Zionist regime’s political parties. They are all aggressors in nature,” Iranian diplomat Marizeh Afkham told reporters at a weekly news conference in Tehran.
Likewise, Hamas claimed the stunning Likud upset is irrelevant to Palestinians, as both Left and Right have decided to deny Palestinian rights and continue Israeli aggression. They vowed to continue their fight against the Jewish state.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said the “Palestinian resistance is strong and capable of making its mark. The leaders of the occupation must think again about their stances after the failure in Gaza.”
As well, Hamas official Ismail Radwan was quoted in Deutsche Presse-Agenteur saying, “The results should be enough to convince the Palestinian Authority and Fatah Party to forget about the choice of keeping the absurd negotiations.”
Indeed, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s central council, chaired by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, is poised to meet Thursday to consider ending its security cooperation with Israel. The PA threatened to end cooperation earlier this month when Israel began withholding tax revenues in response to PA efforts to bring Israel up on charges at the ICC.
Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s electoral success on “settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people.”
He told AFP the PA would respond by pressing its case at the ICC. “It is clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will form the next government, and for that, we say clearly that we will go to the Hague Tribunal, we will accelerate, continue and intensify” diplomatic efforts, he said.
Meanwhile, the EU is urging Netanyahu to renew peace talks in the wake of his victory. EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini has already congratulated Netanyahu on his win in a message, adding that she is looking forward to the “re-launch of the peace process.”
“The EU staunchly supports a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the interest of the Israeli people, of the Palestinian people and of the whole region. We are at your side, you can count on us,” she wrote.
“More than ever, bold leadership is required from all to reach a comprehensive, stable and viable settlement of a conflict that has already deprived too many generations of peace and security. It’s time to turn this page and I’m confident that we can work together with the international community for a solution that will guarantee peace and security in the Middle East.”