Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks at an election campaign event in Ashkelon, Israel April 3, 2019.Amir Cohen / Reuters
Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be headed toward a historic fifth term as Israel’s prime minister on Wednesday, with close-to-complete unofficial election results giving his right-wing Likud and other nationalist and religious parties a solid majority in parliament.
The outcome affirmed Israel’s continued tilt to the right and further dimmed hopes of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Re-election will also give Netanyahu an important boost as he braces for the likelihood of criminal charges in a series of corruption scandals.
With 97.4% of the vote counted, Likud and its traditional political allies were in command of a 65-55 majority in parliament. A couple of small parties were still teetering along the electoral threshold and fighting for their survival, so the final makeup of the next parliament has yet to be decided. Final results were expected Thursday.
BEIRUT (REUTERS) – United States President Donald Trump faced growing condemnation on Friday (March 22) over his statement that it was time to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
Syria expressed outrage and said it was determined to recover the area “through all available means”.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said Trump’s statement had brought the region to the edge of a new crisis. In a speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Erdogan said: “We cannot allow the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights”.
The outline of Trump’s plan is drawn not by a team that is unbiased toward the parties involved, but by a small, strict group known to be pro-Israel. The Palestinian sides withdrew from the meetings due to Trump’s pro-Israel policies. Diplomatic ties between Palestine and the U.S. are broken. The Trump administration took pro-Israel decisions the previous U.S. governments could not dare to do. The U.S.’s Israel embassy was relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; the financial contribution the U.S. made to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees was cancelled; and the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Washington office was closed. The U.S. also withdrew from the UN’s UNESCO and Human Rights Council as it took decisions that disturbed Israel.
Speaking at a summit with North Korea’s Kim, U.S. President Trump says ‘we have a great shot at peace’ between … More