Many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip are dismissive of the changes in the Israeli government, saying that the nationalist leader who will succeed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may pursue the same right-wing agenda.
Naftali Bennett, the 49-year-old former head of Israel’s main West Bank settler organization and former Netanyahu ally, will become the new leader of the country under the patchwork alliance.
Yesh Atid and Bennett’s opposition and centrist leader Yair Lapid Announced on Wednesday night After serving as prime minister for 12 years, they have reached an agreement to form a new government to replace the current Netanyahu.
The representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Bassem Salhi said that the prime minister-designate is no less extreme than Netanyahu.
“He will make sure to express his extreme degree in the government,” he said.
Bennett has always strongly advocated the annexation of parts of the West Bank captured and occupied by Israel in the 1967 war.
However, in recent days, Bennett seems to be proposing to maintain the status quo and to ease the conditions of the Palestinians.
“In this case, my idea is to narrow the conflict. We will not resolve it. But as long as we can [improve conditions] -More intersections, higher quality of life, more businesses, more industries-we will do this. “
‘We need a major change’
The Hamas group, which rules the besieged Gaza Strip, said it makes no difference who rules Israel.
“Palestinians have seen dozens of Israeli governments in history. They call them rightists, leftists, and centrists. But when it comes to the rights of our Palestinian people, all of them are hostile and they have adopted hostile expansion. Policy,” spokesperson Hazem Qassem said.
Sami Abu Shehad, the leader of the Palestinian nationalist Ballard Party, told Al Jazeera in occupied East Jerusalem that the problem is not Netanyahu’s “personality” but the policies pursued by Israel.
“What we need is a major change in Israeli policy, not individuality. Netanyahu’s situation before was very bad, as long as Israel sticks to its own policy, Netanyahu’s situation will continue to deteriorate afterwards. That’s why we Oppose this government [new coalition]. “
Hanan Ashrawi, a former member of the PLO, said that “racism, extremism, violence and lawless internal systems” still exist in the Netanyahu era.
She tweeted: “His former accomplices will inherit his inheritance.”
The end of the Netanyahu era still contains the internal system of racism, extremism, violence and lawlessness + expansionism, mergers and lawlessness. His former accomplices will keep his legacy.Challenge and change this legacy by gradually weakening progressive forces https://t.co/v2NhpSWQzX
-Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAsrawi) June 2, 2021
Similar sentiments were expressed elsewhere.
“There is no difference between an Israeli leader and another leader,” Ahmed Rezik, a 29-year-old Gaza government worker, told Reuters.
“They are good or bad for their country. When it comes to us, they are all bad people, and they all refuse to give the Palestinians their rights and their land.”
However, the agreement includes a United Arab list, which will make it the first Israeli Palestinian citizen to join Israel’s ruling coalition.
The leader of the United Arab List, Mansour Abbas, has abandoned his differences with Bennett and said he hopes to improve conditions for Palestinian citizens who complain of discrimination and government neglect.
“We decided to join the government to change the balance of political power in the country,” the 47-year-old said in a message to supporters after signing the joint agreement.
Abbas’s political party stated that the agreement included allocations of more than 53 billion shekels (US$16 billion) to improve infrastructure and combat violent crime.
The party said it also included provisions to freeze houses built without permission in Palestinian villages and to give official status to Bedouin towns in the Negev desert as a support stronghold.
But he was criticized in the West Bank and Gaza because he was on the side of the enemy in their eyes.
“What will he do when they ask him to vote for a new war on Gaza?” 21-year-old Badri Karam said in Gaza.
“As part of the killing of Palestinians, will he accept it?”