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Netanyahu departure ends 'one of worst periods' of Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Palestinian PM

(L-R) Former Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, shakes hands with his successor, incoming Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, after a special session to vote on a new coalition at the Knesset in Jerusalem al-Quds, on June 13, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh says the end of Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year hold on power as Israel’s prime minister closes the chapter on one of the "worst periods" of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"The departure of the Israeli prime minister after 12 years in power marks the end of one of the worst periods in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," Shtayyeh said ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, on Monday.

The Palestinian premier noted that he does not consider the new Israeli regime “any less bad than the previous one,” adding that there is most probably no likelihood of advancing a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian premier further condemned new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks in support of Israel’s settlement expansion activities in the occupied West Bank.

He added that the new Israeli regime “has no future if it does not take into consideration the future of the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights.”

On Sunday, a recently formed Israeli political coalition narrowly won a vote to oust Netanyahu as the regime’s prime minister.

Bennett was then sworn in as prime minister, ending Netanyahu’s unprecedented 12-year run on premiership. Bennett will hold the position on a rotational basis with opposition figure Yair Lapid.

The anti-Netanyahu alliance emerged in the aftermath of an 11-day military confrontation between Israel and resistance groups in the blockaded Gaza Strip, which saw Israel’s heavy bombardments killing more than 250 Palestinians. The war, however, came to an end when Israel desperately implemented a unilateral ceasefire.

However, ending Netanyahu’s winning streak did not prompt observers to start speculating about a potential change in either the occupying regime’s extremist policies or the United States’ changeless support for it despite its atrocities.

Bennett’s far-right lean has even made any prospect of change even less likely as he has vowed not to let Palestinians have any state of their own.

US President Joe Biden congratulated the new Israeli coalition “on behalf of the American people,” a White House statement read.

It also vowed to cooperate with the new officials concerning “Palestinians” and “the broader region.”

Under Washington’s protection, Tel Aviv has escaped all attempts at holding it accountable for its occupation of the Palestinian territories and bloodshed of Palestinians.

Hamas, a Gaza-based resistance movement, has already said that the political developments of the regime would not change its relationship with Israel.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza but has been occupying the other territories since.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Emboldened by former US president Donald Trump’s all-out support, Israel has stepped up its illegal settlement construction activities in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which has pronounced settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds “a flagrant violation under international law.”

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

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