A two-state solution to the Middle East conflict will be impossible with an Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Thursday.
“Netanyahu’s statements against a two-state solution and against a Palestinian state… are proof, if correct, that there is no seriousness in the (future) Israeli government about a political solution that will lead to the establishment of two states,” he said a day after the Israeli leader snatched an upset election victory.
In a last-ditch appeal to Israel’s far right just hours before polls opened on Tuesday, Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state and pledged to build thousands of new homes for Jewish settlers in annexed Arab east Jerusalem.
Abbas said the Palestinians would continue to “demand international legitimacy,” in reference to their attempts to achieve statehood through the United Nations and other international bodies.
“It is our right to go to anywhere in the world to achieve international legitimacy,” he said.
The Palestinian leader also pointed to the likely inclusion in the new Israeli government of Avigdor Lieberman, head of the ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, who waged a virulent election campaign against both the Palestinians and Israel’s Arab minority.
Abbas said Lieberman had made “racist calls to kill Arab Israelis”, a reference to reported comments earlier this month in which he said any Arabs who were disloyal to the Jewish state should be beheaded.