Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 23 APR 2014
04:22 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
25 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Palestinians see no hope for peace in Israeli polls
Reuters
An Israeli flag is seen in the background as a man casts his ballot for the parliamentary election at a polling in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
An Israeli flag is seen in the background as a man casts his ballot for the parliamentary election at a polling in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah January 22, 2013. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
A+ A-

RAMALLAH/GAZA: Palestinians evinced weary indifference on Tuesday as Israelis voted in an election set to produce a hardline government keener to expand Jewish settlements on occupied land than seek peace.

"Regardless of who wins, the result is the same: Israelis want this land but not the people," said Ahmed Amro, a professor at Al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, the West Bank's capital.

"The Palestinians should have a plan to face this situation we're in, and not put much stock in who wins," he said of the four million people under Israeli occupation or blockade.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since capturing it in the 1967 Middle East War, along with east Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. Gaza has remained under tight curbs on movement since Israeli soldiers and settlers withdrew in 2005.

Opinion polls predict that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will return to power at the head of a coalition dominated by hardline religious and nationalist pro-settler parties which give short shrift to U.S.-backed peace efforts.

"We hope this election will lead to peace, to the recognition of the Palestinian state and to the rights of the Palestinian people," said Gaza physician Hussein Ekelan.

"But all indications say Netanyahu will win, and this will be a big disaster," he said.

Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in 2010 over the building of settlements in the West Bank, which Palestinians say deny them a viable future state.

Palestinians themselves have struggled to elect a national government that present a united front against Israel's policies and further their decades-long quest for independence.

Parliamentary polls in 2006 gave the Islamist Hamas group a surprise win, shocking Israel and Western countries who consider it a terrorist organisation, and leading to a brief civil war with its secular Fatah rivals in Gaza the following year.

Entrenched in Gaza, Hamas has not allowed elections in six years and expelled an election committee meant to pave the way for new polls as part of a stalled unity plan in 2012.

Fatah held local polls in the West Bank which Hamas boycotted, leading to a disappointing turnout.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also Fatah's leader, has outstayed his term by three years since he was elected in 2005.

While Palestinians are united in dismissing Israel's elections, their internal political rifts remain deep.

Hamas rejects Israel's right to exist and opposes U.S.-sponsored negotiations, advocating armed struggle instead. Abbas has put his faith in diplomacy, but neither strategy has brought Palestinians much closer to achieving their national aspirations.

Asked of their hopes for Israel's polls, three grocers in a Ramallah store all mumbled: "What does it matter?"

"Labor, Likud, there's no difference," Mohammad Zaid said, mentioning the main leftwing and rightwing Israeli parties.

"Me, I care what happens on the street here in Palestine, and I don't like what Hamas does. I vote yellow, I vote for the keffiyeh," he said, pointing to his black-and-white chequered scarf, a symbol of Fatah along with its trademark colour.

"You're being a bit partisan," his bearded colleague said.

"You're with Hamas," his friends retorted, laughing.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Palestine
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS