Palestinians urge world to ‘reject any dealings’ with new Netanyahu government

PA statement calls for international community to protect Palestinians from Israeli actions, saying the agenda of the newly sworn-in government poses an ‘existential threat’

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Illustrative: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 23, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
Illustrative: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on September 23, 2022. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

The Palestinian Authority called for an international boycott of Israel’s new government over its hardline, right-wing agenda, saying it poses “an existential threat to the Palestinian people.”

“The State of Palestine rejects the annexationist, violent, racist, and incitement to ethnic cleansing policy guidelines of Israel’s new government. The State of Palestine considers this agenda an existential threat to the Palestinian people and their inalienable and inviolable rights,” said a statement released by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry late Thursday.

The PA urged the international community to “carry out its responsibilities and reject any dealings with a government committed to carrying out international crimes, including annexation, political persecution and racial discrimination.”

The statement called for the international community, including the United Nations Security Council, to “ensure the protection of the Palestinian people from Israel’s ongoing campaign of dispossession and displacement, colonization and annexation, ethnic cleansing and persecution.”

The statement came the day that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swore in his new government which includes three far-right factions that want to extend Israel’s control over the West Bank, which the Palestinians claim for a future state.

It also comes only a day after then-defense minister Benny Gantz phoned PA President Mahmoud Abbas as one of his final acts in the role, to emphasize the importance of the relationship between Israel and the PA. Israel maintains important security cooperation with the PA.

But Gantz also warned Abbas that measures taken against Israel in international forums, including those being advanced by the PA, “will harm the Palestinian people and will only further alienate any political process in the future.”

The Palestinian governing body has pushed the International Criminal Court to investigate possible war crimes by Israel, while Abbas claimed earlier in the year that Israel had committed “50 holocausts” against Palestinians.

Ramallah also asked the UN earlier this month to place Israel on its blacklist of countries that mistreat children in armed conflict, after a 16-year-old Palestinian girl Jana Majdi Assam Zakarna was killed during an Israeli raid in Jenin that sparked a firefight.

Gantz’s meetings and calls with the Palestinian leader during his time in office were heavily criticized by members of the new government.

None of Netanyahu’s coalition partners are on record supporting a two-state solution with the Palestinians, some support annexing the West Bank without granting equal rights to Palestinians in those areas, and many vehemently oppose coordination or strengthening the PA.

Netanyahu’s government is expected to entrench Israel’s control over the territory, with a vague commitment to annex the West Bank to Israel, a pledge to legalize dozens of unauthorized settlements, and the provision of large funds for road building and public transport in the West Bank all featured as part of its coalition deals.

“The Jewish people have an exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the Land of Israel. The government will promote and develop the settlement of all parts of the Land of Israel — in the Galilee, the Negev, the Golan and Judea and Samaria,” the government’s overall published agenda said. Judea and Samaria are the biblical names for the West Bank.

There is no specific mention of the Palestinians or the peace process in the guidelines, which say only that “the government will work to promote peace with all our neighbors while preserving Israel’s security, historical and national interests.”

US President Joe Biden said in a statement on Thursday that he looks forward to working with Netanyahu to advance regional peace, including with the Palestinians, joining several world leaders who congratulated the premier on his new government.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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