Palestinian officials express pleasant surprise that the predicted sweeping victory for the Israeli far-right didn’t come to pass, but said they remain skeptical of the prospects for a radical shift toward peace by the next Israeli coalition government.
“You are not going to have a savior, suddenly producing instant peace,” noted PLO official Hanan Ashrawi. Still, the relative defeat of the ultra-far-right points to an at least somewhat more moderate government this time around.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reflected that cautious hope as well, saying that he was more than willing to talk to any Israeli government so long as they accept the two-state solution as the center of the process.
Whether the next Israeli government will be that remains to be seen, however, as many Likud-Beiteinu officials openly spurned the idea of a two-state solution, while the Jewish Home party, widely expected to be in any coalition, also rejects peace on general principle, insisting all of the West Bank and Gaza are Israel’s.