By Sara Gomez Armas
Nablus, West Bank, Nov 14 (EFE).- People in the Palestinian territories face an anxious wait for the formation of the new Israeli government, a task that was assigned to Likud leader and former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Israeli–Palestinian peace process suffered huge setbacks last time Netanyahu was in power.
He is now back on track to form a new coalition for the country, bringing in far-right parties as well as those in favor of annexing occupied territories and who oppose the two-state solution.
Israeli president Isaac Herzog officially invited Netanyahu over the weekend to form a government following his victory in the November 1 elections amid hopes he will pull the country out of the political impasse it has been locked in for four years.
Netanyahu, a prominent figure in Israeli politics, has less than a month to form a coalition, which will be the most right-wing in the history of Israel. It is set to include two ultra-Orthodox parties and the Jewish supremacist and anti-Arab Religious Zionism party (RZP).
“The plans we hear from the next government are very dangerous,” Palestinian Osama Farid tells Efe.
“The international community must act before it is too late because they seek to commit genocide against Palestinians, make us disappear to take control of our lands and take over our geographical area,” he adds.
Farid, a resident of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, believes if they were to move forward with these plans, there would be “more bloodbaths on both sides.”
Nablus is reacting to the fear of annexation with special concern. Settler violence is soaring, while newly-formed Palestinian armed groups are emerging and intensifying their attacks against Israeli targets in the area.
When the extreme right’s win in the elections was confirmed, Palestinian Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the difference between the Israeli parties was the “same as the difference between Pepsi and Coke.”
Although Palestinians on the street share Shtayyeh’s opinion, they acknowledge that what is coming next is unpredictable.
RZP party leaders Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir both are settlers and are known for their anti-Arab views, diatribes against Palestinians, and defense of one Jewish state that annexes the occupied Palestinian territories.
Talks to allocate cabinet positions are taking place behind closed doors but Israeli media said that Smotrich wants to be the defense minister while Ben-Gvir is requesting to be the minister of public security.
“It will be a war government, not a peaceful one with the Palestinians,” says Jamal Tirawi, a Fatah official in Nablus and a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which was dissolved by president Mahmoud Abbas in 2018.
Netanyahu is already “an old acquaintance” of Palestinians and “his policies did not bring anything good,” according to Tirawi.
The Fatah member does not rule out that West Bank annexation is “among the plans of the future Israeli government,” something that “will force the Palestinian leadership to declare a Third Intifada that will be backed by the entire Palestinian population.”
Palestinian analyst Sam Bahour believes that Israeli governments are “increasingly racist,” which means the cabinet positions in the next one will be equally “consistent in the aggression against Palestinians, the occupation and in not allowing a Palestinian state to rise.”