Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) said on Wednesday, April 10, that he is following the results of Israel’s parliamentary elections, which took place on Tuesday. Abbas spoke at the opening of a new oncology department at the Istishari Hospital near the central occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
Abbas stressed, “They (Israel) should understand that peace is in our interest as well as theirs and that of the entire world. For this reason they need to come to the negotiating table. Our hand is always extended for negotiations, but we are not going to abandon our rights.” Abbas reiterated that he will not accept the United States’ so-called “Deal of the Century,” saying, “Whatever it was. We rejected it because it bypasses our rights legitimized by the international community.”
The Palestinian leader added “if they agree to go with the international legitimacy, then our hands will be extended to reach peace. If they don’t, then we will remain steadfast here.” In reference to the opening of the new hospital department, Abbas said “what we saw here today at this great hospital makes us all very proud and promises a better future.” He concluded, “If we have the opportunity, we will be like the rest of the peoples in the world, if not better, because we have the potential and capabilities that we offer to our great people.”
Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, said in a tweet Tuesday night that the Israelis have voted no to peace. “What the results suggest is that Israelis have voted to preserve the status quo. They have said no to peace and yes to the occupation.” He added, “Only 14 out of 120 elected members of the Israeli parliament support the two-state solution on the 1967 borders.”
A statement by PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said that, “Regrettably, Israelis overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation and dispossession in Palestine and escalating the assault on Palestinian national and human rights. They have chosen an overwhelmingly rightwing, xenophobic and anti-Palestinian parliament to represent them. Israelis chose to entrench and expand apartheid.”
Ashrawi’s statement added, “The extremist and militaristic agenda, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has been emboldened by the Trump administration’s reckless policies and blind support… The Palestinian people will overcome this dark and highly dangerous chapter and remain deeply rooted in our homeland.”