Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority has responded to the upcoming elections for a new Israeli government and dispersal of the Knesset, calling on the international community to keep pressure on Israel to end the "occupation."
"When there is no active Israeli government, all process will cease from all the parties, but that does not cancel the international stand which should continue to put pressure on any Israeli government to work on ending the unjust occupation of the Palestinian Territories," Abdallah Abdallah, a member of PA President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah party, said Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, Hamas hailed the collapse of the Israeli coalition, saying late Tuesday that it indicated that the Islamist group won this past summer's war with Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was defeated in the latest Gaza conflict.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said he hopes a new Israeli government will prove fruitful to peace efforts with the Palestinians.
"We hope that whatever government is formed is a government that will – or whether there are elections, that those elections will produce -- the possibility of a government that can negotiate and move towards resolving the differences between Israelis and Palestinians, and obviously, the differences in the region," he said while speaking Tuesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
Kerry emphasized, however, that he does not want to get involved in Israel's internal politics.
"I simply don’t comment on the internal politics of any country, and certainly not of a change in personnel within the Government of Israel," Kerry said of the recent government shake up. "We will continue to be supportive of our friend and our ally, the state of Israel."
The next round of Israeli general elections will be held on March 17, 2015, it was announced Wednesday after a meeting with the heads of the Knesset factions at the office of Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein.
The moves follow Netanyahu’s decision on Tuesday to fire Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Hatnua chairwoman Tzipi Livni. The remaining four ministers in Yesh Atid resigned two hours later.
Infighting over the so-called "Jewish state bill" and public condemnation of other policies backed by Netanyahu lead to the political system to spiral toward its collaspe. Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.