Palestinians slam Israeli coalition deals, warn of Middle East ‘explosion’

The PA warned the international community of Benjamin Netanyahu's “ill-fated agreements with his far-right fascist coalition partners.”

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) greets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Monroe Room of the State Department in Washington September 2, 2010. (photo credit: REUTERS/JASON REED)
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) greets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Monroe Room of the State Department in Washington September 2, 2010.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JASON REED)

Palestinians have expressed deep concern over the agreements signed between prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right coalition partners, especially Itamar Ben-Gvir of Otzma Yehudit and Bezalel Smotrich of the RZP.

They warned that the policies of the incoming government will lead to an “explosion” and urged the PA and the international community to prepare for the worst scenarios.

The PA called on the international community, the US administration and the EU to link their relationship with the Netanyahu government “to the extent of its commitment to international law, international legitimacy decisions and human rights principles.”

The Palestinian foreign affairs ministry said that it views “with great seriousness” reports in the Israeli media regarding Netanyahu’s “ill-fated agreements with his far-right fascist coalition partners.”

 MK Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit political party surrouned visits in Beit Orot, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of At-Tur, October 13, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) MK Itamar Ben Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit political party surrouned visits in Beit Orot, in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of At-Tur, October 13, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Palestinians fear move giving West Bank control to Smotrich

KAN News reported Friday that as part of the coalition agreement with RZP, Netanyahu has agreed to relinquish significant control over the approval process for settlement construction to Smotrich.

Netanyahu reportedly agreed to hand authority over the two key bodies responsible for Israeli control in the West Bank – the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Civil Administration – to Smotrich’s party.

The Palestinians fear the move would pave the way for the new government to extend Israeli law to large portions of the West Bank, especially Area C, which is exclusively controlled by Israel.

The Palestinians, in addition, are concerned about Ben-Gvir’s insistence on including a clause in the coalition agreement that imposes a death sentence on convicted terrorists.

According to a statement by Ben-Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit faction, it was agreed to legislate a law on the death sentence before the passing of the 2023 budget.

Palestinian FM warns of dangers to changing status quo

The ministry said in a statement that the agreements would allow the “annexation” of the West Bank and the legalization of settler outposts and grant Ben-Gvir “a license to work and promote the death penalty.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of the dangers of implementing these agreements on the conflict and the entire region, especially the repercussions of changing the status quo in Jerusalem and its holy sites, foremost of which is the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” the statement added.

The ministry warned that the response of the Israeli community to the coalition agreements “does not rise to the level of the real risks to the situation in the region.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians will confront Israeli policies with a “peaceful resistance” and action in international courts and forums.

“We will not accept the practices of the occupying authorities, and we will confront them with peaceful popular resistance and in all international forums and courts,” Abbas said in a message to Christians on the eve of Christmas.

Abbas called on the international community to “end its silence and stop Israeli crimes, including settlement expansion, the annexation of lands, and the creation of a racist colonial regime.”

He added: “We affirm that the only way for our people and all the peoples of the region to enjoy security, stability and prosperity is for our Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights that were approved by the resolutions of international legitimacy by ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem and the return of refugees.”

Tayseer Khaled, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said the Palestinians were worried because Netanyahu gave “the fascist extreme right sensitive positions and granted them powers over sensitive issues, such as the legalization of settlement outposts, the expansion of settlement activities and the annexation of areas in the West Bank.”

Khaled said the Palestinians should seek their friends’ support for pursuing Israel in all international forums and holding it accountable for its “crimes” against the Palestinian people.

Palestinian columnist Mohammed Yaghi said what the Palestinians need now is a new leadership that would be able to confront Netanyahu .

The new leadership, he wrote in the Palestinian daily Al-Quds newspaper, should consider the possibility of “escalating” the conflict with Israel and walking away from the Oslo Accords.

The cancellation of the Oslo Accords, he clarified, would not necessarily require “dissolving the Palestinian Authority, but only announcing that it is no longer responsible for political or security matters.”

In an editorial, Al-Quds warned that the policies of the government will “explode the already explosive situation and put the region and the world on a volcano that could erupt at any moment, threatening global peace and security.”

According to the paper, “the next stage is very dangerous, and if we do not prepare for it and take all means to thwart the extremist and racist occupation government, things will go from bad to worse.”