Next Israeli gov't must end occupation starting in 1967: Palestine

Palestine said the next Israeli government should meet international obligations to continue with peace talks.

Next Israeli gov't must end occupation starting in 1967: Palestine

The Palestinian Authority said on Wednesday the next Israeli government should meet international obligations to continue with peace talks.

"Regardless of the form of government that will emerge ... we have the same expectations," Prime Minister of West Bank Salam Fayyad told reporters.

"We imagine that the expectations of the international community (towards Israel) will be the same as ours."

Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and Tzipi Livni's centrist Kadima party both claimed victory late on Tuesday night after a tight election result.

But the bloc of right-wing parties appeared to have secured a majority, including Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party which surged into third place.

Israeli parties used anti-Arab rhetoric including assassination of Hamas leaders as a method of election campaign.

"Steps have to be taken to end the occupation that began in 1967. This should mean immediate implementation of key provisions and obligations that the government of Israel had assumed previously," Fayyad said.

He listed these as a freeze on Jewish settlement in all territories Israel occupied in 1967, a redeployment to positions before the Palestinian uprising launched in 2000 and lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The PA led by U.S.-backed leader Mahmoud Abbas has support from the new U.S. administration and the international community for a resumption of peace talks aimed at an independent Palestinian state.

But Netanyahu's Likud and other right-wing Israeli parties reject out of hand most of the Palestinian demands.

The Palestinian position is complicated by a sharp divide between by Abbas' Fatah faction and the Islamist group Hamas, which has ruled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Israel launched a 22-day land, sea and air assault on Gaza on Dec. 27, killing more than 1,300 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounding at least 5300.

Hamas is engaged in separate talks with Israel through Egyptian mediators on a durable ceasefire with Israel, releasing prisoners and lifting the blockade of the coastal territory.

"The election results show the Zionists (Israelis) are leaning towards more extremism, crime and terrorism against the Palestinian people and they do not know the language of peace," said Hamas official in Gaza Mushir al-Masri.

"That requires our people and our factions of resistance to unite and to stick to the choice of resistance and Jihad, which the only choice capable of putting an end to Zionist extremism," he said.

Reuters

Last Mod: 12 Şubat 2009, 11:10
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