Israeli voters chose ‘occupation over talks’, Palestinians say

Palestinians slammed Israelis on Wednesday for voting for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing Likud party, saying they had chosen “occupation and settlement building” over peace talks. Senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official Yasser Abed Rabbo said Israel had chosen “the path of racism, occupation and settlement building”. In a snap election to Israel’s 120-seat parliament on Tuesday, the Likud beat centre-left rivals the Zionist Union by 30 seats to 24.

We are facing an Israeli society that is sick with racism, and a policy of occupation and settlement building… and ahead of us is a long and difficult road of struggle against Israel.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, senior Palestine Liberation Organisation official

In the final stages of the campaign, Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state if reelected, effectively reneging on his 2009 endorsement of a two-state solution. He also pledged to build thousands of homes for Jewish settlers in annexed Arab east Jerusalem to prevent future concessions to the Palestinians. The Palestinians say they will seek action against Israel at the ICC as early as next month.