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‘Laughing, senseless’: Palestinian group joins Israel gov’t | Stories by Benjamin Netanyahu

The United Arab List (UAL) becomes the first Palestinian state to participate in a coalition agreement after agreeing to a joint venture the new government of Israel led by Naftali Bennett – former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former counterpart – who called for West Bank intervention.

Mansour Abbas, the leader of the UAL, has set aside his differences with Bennett, a 49-year-old former party leader, and centrist leader Yair Lapid to sign a coalition of eight political parties to end Netanyahu’s 12 years in power.

Abbas, 47, who is also the deputy chairman of Israel’s southern Islamic Movement branch – which in 1995 split from the northern Islamic Movement branch under Sheikh Raed Salah – says the move will help him improve the lives of Palestinian citizens, who make up about 20% of the population is approximately 9 million.

But many Palestinians strongly oppose his decision.

The coalition came after elections on March 23 when Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition became the largest party in Knesset, the Israeli parliament, but did not win the 61 seats required to form a government. It was Israel’s fourth election in two years.

Bennett, a former security minister led by Netanyahu, justified joining forces with Lapid Yesh Atid to avoid further elections.

With 17 seats, Yesh Atid is the second largest of the Knesset’s 120-member party, while Bennett Yamina’s party has six seats.

Bennett and Lapid take turns being prime ministers, with Bennett taking the first two-year term.

Representing the Palestinian parties

UAL of Abbas he was different from the Joint Arab List, a major coalition of Palestinian parties in Israel, ahead of the March elections. Abbas decided to become independent, urging at the time to work with Netanyahu and other right-wing parties to improve the living conditions of Palestinian citizens in Israel.

The split weakened the representation of Palestinian parties in the Knesset, which in last year’s vote won 15 parliamentary seats.

The UAL, which has four seats in the legislature, joined forces with Bennett and Lapid to oust Netanyahu shortly before its inauguration on Wednesday, and said it had secured a $ 53bn deal to build infrastructure and fight crime in Palestine. -the major cities in Israel.

The UAL has also announced that it has confirmed that the new government will prevent the destruction of illegal Palestinian homes in Israel and that it will legalize Bedouin towns in the Negev desert – the Abbasan stronghold.

“We decided to go to the government to change the political parties in the country,” Abbas said in a message to his supporters after signing the agreement.

But Diana Buttu, a Palestinian political analyst and lawyer, told Al Jazeera that Abbas had “made a serious mistake in thinking he could be king of Israel”.

“He supported the coalition by building things together, but as Palestinians, it is not our responsibility to be monarchs. We are opposed to this plan. Our responsibility is to protect our region,” he said.

Buttu said Abbas and his party “would not gain anything” as part of a larger coalition.

“The idea that Abbas will be able to get enough help even by enacting laws that would contradict other racist laws that Palestinians face is a joke,” he said.

“It’s ridiculous, very silly and it shows a great deal of misunderstanding about the politics of Israel and Zionism.”

Jafar Farah, director of the Mossawa Center, which promotes Palestinian people in Israel, told Al Jazeera that the potential economic and social potential for Palestinian people in Israel can be achieved in matters such as housing and crime.

“However, the Netanyahu government was keen to give some of the Arab regions some of these. So it is nothing new,” he said.

But Farah said Abbas’s idea had taken into account these needs, rather than the struggle to overthrow Israel and systematic repression, showing “a lack of vision between the Palestinian Authority”.

He warned that, despite Abbas’ promises, there should be a change in government that could be replaced by the wing wing of Netanyahu’s departure.

“And at that time, there will be no peace or harmony between Palestine and the Jews,” he said. “And there is no significant change in the legitimacy of the Palestinian people.”

‘A Straight Group’

But according to Ibrahim Hijazi, UAL secretary-general, the party’s idea of ​​joining the coalition is about “achieving existing goals” for Palestinian citizens in Israel.

In a list of issues such as housing, violence and crime, as well as unknown villages in the Negev desert, he said joining the coalition aims to address such issues and “strengthen the work of Arab groups by making them more direct and politically relevant”.

“This will benefit the Palestinian people and allow them to enjoy the freedom that was denied because of the past, as well as the remaining Palestinian parties,” Hijazi said.

“Our entry into the negotiations was based on political pledges, coupled with government commitments to change the stereotypes and pledges of commitment to a more just and equitable solution for the Palestinian cause,” he told Al Jazeera.


Some Palestinians say 11 days ago The invasion of Israel Gaza, which has left at least 253 people dead, including 66 children, and more than 1,900 injured, has sparked widespread speculation among many Palestinians that Abbas is wrong to join a government that continues to occupy Palestinian people and block the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli offensive has left nearly 17,000 homes and businesses damaged or damaged, according to the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The fighting erupted weeks after several weeks when Israeli security forces staged peaceful protests against forced eviction Palestinian families living in the East Jerusalem area of ​​Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.

Israeli police too he was startled The Al-Aqsa Mosque rallied several times during the last days of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, using rubber bullets and tear gas for worshipers.

“With the threats of Sheikh Jarrah and Gaza, as well as the unrest that has erupted, the Palestinian people have told Abbas they are no longer welcome among them as Sheikh Jarrah,” Buttu said.

“People have come out with great power; he rebukes her for her careless conduct and feels sorry for her for pushing herself between a rock and a hard place to stay out of politics. ”

Sami Abou Shehadeh, leader of the Palestinian Balad Party, said Abbas had seceded from many Palestinians by joining the coalition.

“Abbas’ decision to become part of a dangerous government, which will work against the interests of the Palestinians in Israel and its territories, is very dangerous,” he told Al Jazeera.

“Imagine being the head of a Palestinian party and failing to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque or attend a funeral at Umm al-Fahm because people will chase you away,” said Abou Shehadeh.

“Mansour has become a loser.”

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