- Title: "Apartheid won the elections" - Palestinian Erekat says after Israeli ballot
- Date: 2nd March 2020
- Summary: JERICHO, WEST BANK (MARCH 2, 2020) (REUTERS) PALESTINIAN CHIEF NEGOTIATOR SAEB EREKAT WATCHING TELEVISION SHOWING ISRAELI ELECTION EXIT POLLS RESULTS EREKAT'S EYES CLOSE OF EREKAT'S HAND WHILE SENDING MESSAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) PALESTINIAN CHIEF NEGOTIATOR SAEB EREKAT, SAYING: "From the exit polls we have just seen it's obvious that annexation, settlements, apartheid won the elections. The whole election campaign was about annexation of the Jordan Valley, the Dead Sea, the settlements, Jerusalem, subjecting the Palestinian people to further and deeper to the Israeli occupation; denying them the rights of determination. And seems to me that Mr. Netanyahu believes that conflict is what serves Israel's interests in the future. I believe he has taken the wrong side of History, I think if he forces Palestinians and Israelis to live by the sword that means a cycle of violence, extremism, counter-violence and bloodshed dominate this region." GAZA CITY, GAZA (MARCH 2, 2020) (REUTERS) HAMAS OFFICIAL ISMAIL RADWAN LOOKING AT HIS MOBILE PALESTINIAN AND HAMAS FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HAMAS OFFICIAL ISMAIL RADWAN, SAYING: "Clearly the Israeli society is leaning towards more extremism, and more racism against our Palestinian people. We have no hopes regarding this this election because to us there is no difference between right and left, they are all hostile to the Palestinian people. They are all ready to implement Trump's so-called deal of the century. Therefore, we see them all as killers and as occupiers. We should regain our unity in order to confront the deal, confront the occupation and free our land." RADWAN SITTING NEAR A MODEL OF THE DOME OF THE ROCK HEBRON, WEST BANK (MARCH 2, 2020) (REUTERS) 50-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSMAN FROM HEBRON, AKRAM ABU HUSSEIN, AT CAFE ABU HUSSEIN CHECKING ISRAELI EXIT POLLS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) 50-YEAR-OLD BUSINESSMAN FROM HEBRON, AKRAM ABU HUSSEIN, SAYING: "As a Palestinian I am following up on Israeli society. I don't think there is a difference between both. Each parliamentary party has its own agenda but they all share the same things that the Palestinian is their aim. But each one has his own way to get rid of the Palestinian." PEOPLE AT CAFE
- Embargoed: 16th March 2020 22:12
- Keywords: Gaza Hamas Israeli elections Netanyahu Palestinians deal of the century
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA/HEBRON, JERICHO, WEST BANK
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA/HEBRON, JERICHO, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001C3D0P53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday (March 2) said that "It's obvious that annexation, settlements, apartheid won the elections," after Israeli election exit polls showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just a seat short of a governing majority in parliament.
Hamas official in Gaza Ismail Radwan, told Reuters that Israeli society was becoming more extreme and racist towards the Palestinian people and that "We should regain our unity in order to confront the deal, confront the occupation and free our land."
A win for Netanyahu, after inconclusive ballots in April and September, would be testimony to the political durability of Israel's longest-serving leader, who fought the latest campaign under the shadow of a looming corruption trial.
It would also pave the way for Netanyahu to make good on his pledge to annex, after the election, Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, and the region's Jordan Valley, under a peace plan presented by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Palestinians have rejected the proposal, saying it was killing their dream of establishing a viable state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Netanyahu's main challenger, former armed forces chief Benny Gantz of the centrist Blue and White party, stopped short of conceding defeat in his own posting on Twitter, telling supporters he would "continue to fight for the right path, for you."
(Production: Roleen Tafakji/ Mohammed Shana/Arafat Barbakh/Adel Abu Nemeh/Yusri Al-Jamal)
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