Politics

2-state solution 'fragile' after Netanyahu win: Experts

Re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu says Palestinian state will never be established while he is prime minister.

19.03.2015
2-state solution 'fragile' after Netanyahu win: Experts

By Ilgin Karlidag

BRUSSELS

The Palestinian peace process could face challenges after the victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tuesday's elections, experts have said.

The Israeli news site NRG asked Netanyahu on Monday, ahead of the elections, whether it was true that a Palestinian state would never be established while he's prime minister.

Netanyahu responded: "Indeed."

Netanyahu also told NRG that his right-wing Likud party would not bow to international pressure to divide Jerusalem and return Israel to its pre-1967 borders.

"I do not give in," Netanyahu said. "We stood fast against huge pressure, and we will continue to do so."

Netanyahu returning to office -- with a stronger stance against the Israeli-Palestinian peace process -- raises questions as to how this could affect its relations with the U.S. and the European Union.

"European leaders and the U.S. have never wanted an alternative to a two-state solution," Hugh Lovatt, Israel/Palestine program coordinator at the European Council on Foreign Relations told The Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

"Now the Israeli government ends up being a narrowly rightist government that will have even more pro-settlement voices than before," Lovatt added.

The European Union has repeatedly called for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has even denounced the Israeli government’s construction of 500 new housing units in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

"In the near future we will see slow and incremental annexation, and the Palestinian national movement or movements struggling to react," Israeli journalist and associate fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, Dimi Reider, told The Anadolu Agency Wednesday.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini congratulated Netanyahu on Wednesday for his victory in the elections, and said the EU is committed to relaunching the peace process with Palestinians.

Mogherini said in the statement: "The EU staunchly supports a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in the interest of the Israeli people, of the Palestinian people and of the whole region.

"We are at your side, you can count on us," she said.

However, the statement surprisingly mentioned nothing about a two-state solution.

"The fact that such a statement is possible is indicative of the very very frail condition of the two-state solution," Reider said. 

The re-election of Netanyahu into office comes several months after Sweden became the first EU member state to recognize Palestine as a state on Oct. 30.

Countries such as France, the U.K. and Spain followed the move by calling for non-binding votes to recognize Palestine statehood.

The EU General Court also ruled on Dec.17 that the decision to list Hamas on the 2001 "terrorist list" was not based on "acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities, but on factual imputations derived from the press and the Internet."

The European Parliament voted for a non-binding resolution calling for recognition of Palestine as a state on Dec.17. 

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