JERUSALEM-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a clear path to re-election on Wednesday, April 10, with parties on the right set to hand him a parliamentary majority and his main challenger conceding defeat. "Netanyahu gathered all of the extremists and cannibalized his partners".
Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, and his wife Revital cast their ballots as Israelis began voting in a parliamentary election, at a polling station in Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel on April 9, 2019. The adoption, on 19 July, of the law declaring Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people, crushed any last hope held by the 1.8 million Palestinians living there of becoming equal citizens, and goes some way towards explaining why only a fourth of Arab-Israelis turned out to vote. Aside from a few nuances and the uncertainties regarding the formation of a new government, the one overall conclusion we can draw from these elections is that we can expect to see more of the same, in other words, more fait accompli tactics being deployed by Israel and more hardships for the Palestinians.
"I'm going to apply sovereignty, but I don't distinguish between settlement blocs and the isolated settlement points, because from my perspective every such point of settlement is Israeli", Netanyahu said during a television interview.
Netanyahu's vow to annex the West Bank-home to almost three million Palestinians-came just days before of Israel's election on Tuesday.
Netanyahu said that, in the telephone call, he also thanked Trump for designating Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation on Monday. "We will show Israelis how their lives could look like with leadership that cares about them", he said, hinting at the long list of corruption cases in which Netanyahu and his close associate have been entangled. "He's been a great ally and he's a friend".
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"I'd like to congratulate Netanyahu".
On Wednesday, Trump said the incumbent's election to a fifth term gives the White House's long-awaited peace plan, expected to be released in the coming weeks, a "better chance".
Commenting on the election, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said: "Israelis have voted to preserve the status quo". Palestinians seek a state there and in the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The last round of USA -brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in 2014. Experiences such as these at a young age have caused them to believe that peace can only be achieved by force; something only the right-wing parties can achieve. Taking the West Bank would antagonize even governments in the region that share Netanyahu's assessment of regional threats - such as Saudi Arabia.