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Palestinians watch as the far-right Israeli government comes to power | Israeli-Palestinian conflict


Israeli parliament sworn in Benjamin Netanyahu as the new prime minister, inaugurated the most religiously conservative, far-right government in the country’s history, leaving Palestinians anxious about what happens next.

2022 has been the deadliest year for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank since 2006, when Israel launched near-daily military raids and the Gaza Strip faced three days of Israeli bombardment in June. August.

Those actions were taken by the “centre” Israeli government – ​​leading many Palestinians to question whether there were any real differences between the different governments’ policies towards them over the past few years.

However, the introduction of far-right figures into the government, who were previously considered too radical even for Israeli politics, has raised concerns among some and predicted a wave of violence. new is ahead.

And the new government’s first priority – expanding settlements in the West Bank – and declaring that “the Jews have a monopoly on all lands” between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea was only intended to amplify that.

Al Jazeera spoke to Palestinians in the West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip to get their opinions.

Reham Odeh, political analyst, Gaza

“If we look at members of the government, we see extremists and settlers among them repeatedly calling to attack the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including Itamar Ben-Gvir, minister of national security, and therefore more likely to return. to scenes of violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank,” Odeh said.

The political analyst believes that will be especially the case if the Netanyahu government moves ahead with plans to expand settlements and potentially annex Palestinian lands.

“[That] will block any chance of a future solution, or Palestinian efforts to achieve the dream of a Palestinian state, including a two-state solution.”

Regarding Gaza, and despite what Odeh calls Netanyahu’s “bloody policy” toward the territory in the past, the political analyst does not expect a new war anytime soon, with a new prime minister instead. It focused on the policies he emphasized, namely the expansion of settlements, the strengthening of normalized relations with Arab countries, and the management of the Iranian profile.

Hazem Qassem, spokesman for Hamas, Gaza

“Netanyahu’s stated policy means that we will face great tensions, and this opens up the possibility of [another] confront us,” Qassem told Al Jazeera. “There is a tendency to escalate violence against Palestinian prisoners and place more restrictions on their living conditions, and there is a tendency to enact restrictive policies in the vicinity of the Mosque. Al-Aqsa [in occupied East Jerusalem]in addition to the expansion of settlements.

Qassem warned that this would lead to a potential “boom” in the region.

He said Palestinian armed groups will “not stand idly by any expansion of belligerent policy towards the Palestinian people and violations when it comes to red lines like Jerusalem and Palestinian prisoners,” he said. It added that Hamas is “ready to protect” its people.

“We need to adopt the policy of Palestinian unity to protect the rights of the Palestinian people and promote the Palestinian reconciliation record,” Qassem said, stressing the importance of unity between the factions. Palestinian factions in the West Bank and Gaza.

Azzam Abu al-Adass, political analyst, Nablus

For Abu al-Adass, the Netanyahu administration is not only a threat to Palestinians but also to leftist and secular Israelis.

“The current government believes that its achievements will come at the expense of Palestinian blood and Palestinian killing,” Abu al-Adass said, before referring to Ben-Gvir’s efforts to loosen loosened the shooting rules for Israeli security forces and revoked the deal. nationalities of Palestinians living in Israel and East Jerusalem.

Regarding Gaza, Abu al-Adass believes that a new attack is unlikely as it would be “fatiguing” for the Netanyahu government.

“Netanyahu will focus its government escalation efforts on the West Bank, especially with the arrival of new popular resistance grouprecently increased their presence on the West Coast, especially Jenin and Nablus,” he said.

“The Israeli media is constantly talking about the growth of resistance groups in the West Bank, and this could make it the closest target of the current Netanyahu-led government.”

Ahmed Abu Artema, activist, Gaza

“Our main problem is with project Zionist itself, is based on displacing our people, occupying their land, carrying out massacres and practicing racism, no matter who leads it,” Abu Artema said.

The activist said the most dangerous element of the new government was the “unprecedentedly hostile tone” from its members, including Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister and who will oversee the administration. illegal settlements on the West Bank.

“All of these signs lead us to predict that there will be more targeting of Palestinians and more looting of Palestinian lands,” Abu Artema said.

“The only hope is to continue the struggle for freedom and liberate the Palestinians from Israeli occupation,” he added.

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