Netanyahu Coalition Must Choose Between Settlements and Peace, Says Abbas' Spokesman

The prime minister signed a deal with Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett, making way for the new coalition; Saeb Erekat says new government is 'extremist.'

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem on September 15, 2010.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jerusalem on September 15, 2010. Credit: Reuters
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

The Palestinians have slammed Israel's new government, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a coalition deal Thursday with Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett.

The new coalition will have to choose between settlements and peace talks, said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.

"The Palestinians will continue to briskly peruse its activity on the international stage, by joining international organizations and drafting new proposed resolutions for the UN Security Council, especially in light of the right-wing-settler character of the government," he said.

Former Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, meanwhile, said, "This is an extremist government, a government of settlers, which will lead to the complete destruction of the two-state solution. The new justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, called for the annihilation of the Palestinian people and the killing of women and children, during the last war in Gaza in the summer."

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that, "The new government is dangerous, but Hamas is able to deal with it."

The peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled since Abbas came to an agreement with Hamas over the formation of a unity government in April 2014. Israel regards Hamas as a terrorist organization and has repeatedly called on Abbas to cut ties with the organization, which controls the Gaza Strip.

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