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Occupation, apartheid won Israeli elections: Palestinian official

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), speaks during a press conference in the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah on November 19, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat says the winner of Israel’s Monday elections were “occupation and apartheid,” after scandal-hit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed victory in the polls.

“It is obvious that settlement, occupation, and apartheid, have won the Israeli elections,” said Erekat in a tweet on Tuesday. “Netanyahu’s campaign was about the continuation of the occupation and conflict, which will force the people of the region to live by the sword: continuation of violence, extremism and chaos.”

On the eve of the elections, Netanyahu pledged to annex further parts of the occupied West Bank “within weeks” if he was re-elected. Furthermore, the Israeli premier announced last month that he had plans to build thousands of settler units in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

In the early hours of Tuesday, an ebullient Netanyahu claimed “a tremendous victory” in the Monday polls, boasting that his party had defied “all expectations.”

However, still non-final results showed later on Tuesday that Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party had only managed to secure 59 seats in the 120-member Knesset, meaning that the incumbent premier was two seats shy of an outright parliamentary majority.

That was a repeat of previous elections, in April and September last year. As with those elections, Netanyahu now has to form a coalition government. He failed to do so the previous two times.

Netanyahu has also been indicted for corruption, which would possibly ignite a constitutional confrontation between the regime’s political and judicial powerhouses over whether the premier is able to establish a government while under indictment.

Earlier on Tuesday, Erekat said the Israeli prime minister “has taken the wrong side of history” and his pro-conflict policies would take the region into a cycle of violence, extremism, counter-violence and bloodshed.

He added that Netanyahu’s “whole election campaign was about annexation of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, the settlements, Jerusalem [al-Quds], subjecting the Palestinian people to further and deeper to the Israeli occupation, denying them the rights of determination.”

The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement has also slammed the election, saying the elections in Palestinian territory had “no legitimacy” and Israel would remain an occupying regime.

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