PA Vows Intensified Action as Netanyahu’s Likud Scores Decisive Victory

RAMALLAH, March 18, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli Prime Minister, for the fourth time in office, Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud party has claimed decisive victory in the Israeli parliamentary elections, with 30 seats in the Knesset, while the Zionist Union was said to have won 24 seats, according to Israeli media.

The Joint Arab List, which saw for the first time the unity of four Arab parties including the southern branch of the Islamic Movement, came in as the largest third bloc with 14 seats, followed by Yesh Atid, Kulanu, Habayit Hayehudi, Shas, Yisrael Beiteinu, United Torah Judaism, Meretz and Yahad.

Chief Palestinian Negotiator and Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat, said it was clear that Netanyahu will form the next government, for which the PA will step up its international efforts to complain Israel’s violations of the Palestinian rights.

“It is clear that Netanyahu will form the next government, so we say clearly that we will go to the International Criminal Court in the Hague and we will speed up, pursue and intensify” all diplomatic efforts, he told AFP.

In the meantime, presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudainah said PA had no preferences regarding whoever forms the Israeli government, as long as that government recognizes the two-state solution and the fact the East Jerusalem should be the capital of any future Palestinian state. He added that otherwise, there will be no chance of peace in the region.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement in this regards, and expressed hope that the results of the election could help revive peace talks with Israel on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative.

However, Netanyahu has clearly expressed his position regarding the establishment of the Palestinian state and the possibility of a two-state solution. Haaretz reported on Netanyahu Monday stating that “if he were to be reelected, a Palestinian state would not be created, in a definite disavowal of his 2009 speech, in which he had voiced support for the principle of two states for two peoples.”