JERUSALEM (JTA) – A senior Palestinian official called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new coalition government “one of war.”
The government “will be one of war which will be against peace and stability in our region,” lead Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told the French news agency AFP on Thursday.
Congratulations Israel, your new government has ensured that peace is not on their agenda. This new right wing, extremist government is not a partner for peace when the leaders call for the annexation of Palestinian land, forcible transfer of the Palestinian population, and the genocide against our people. The time is well overdue for the International community to face the reality and hold Israel accountable for the crimes and violations made against our people,” Erekat said in a statement released Thursday by the Palestine Liberation Organization, hours after the new government was announced and confirmed to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
Just two hours before Wednesday’s midnight deadline, Netanyahu announced a right wing and narrow government coalition made up of 61 seats, the bare minimum necessary to form a new government. The new government is comprised of Netanyahu’s Likud party with 30 seats; the centrist Kulanu Party, 10 seats; the right-wing Jewish Home party with eight seats; the Sephardic Orthodox Shas party, seven seats; and the haredi Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party, six seats.
Erekat has said that with the election of this new government the Palestinians do not have a peace partner and that the Palestinians would continue to work to bring Israel to trial in the International Criminal Court in The Hague and in other international forums.