Palestinian state over after Trump win: Israel minister
West Bank/Jerusalem—Reacting to Trump’s victory, Hamas said it did not expect a change in US “bias” against the Palestinians while, President Mahmoud Abbas’s office called on US president-elect Donald Trump to work towards a Palestinian state, with peace efforts with Israel long at a standstill.
“We are ready to deal with the elected president on the basis of a two-state solution and to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP, referring to the year when Israel occupied the West Bank.
Abu Rudeina said failure to resolve the decades-old conflict would mean “the unstable situation will continue in the region”.
The Palestinians remain deeply divided, with Abbas’s secular Fatah party dominating in the West Bank and Hamas in power in the Gaza Strip.
Reacting to Trump’s victory, Hamas said it did not expect a change in US “bias” against the Palestinians.
“The Palestinian people do not count much on any change in the US presidency because the US policy towards the Palestinian issue is a consistent policy on the basis of bias,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told AFP.
“Nevertheless, we hope that US president Trump will re-evaluate this policy and rebalance it on the Palestinian issue.”
Peace efforts have been at a standstill since a US-led initiative collapsed in April 2014.
Meanwhile, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Wednesday the idea of a Palestinian state was over after Donald Trump’s election as US president, calling for an end to what has been the basis of years of negotiations.
“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause,” Bennett, who heads the hard-line Jewish Home party, said in an apparent reference to the occupied West Bank. “This is the position of the president-elect … The era of a Palestinian state is over.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, also of Jewish Home, called on Trump to follow through on his promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a break with the consistent policy of successive administrations, Republican as well as Democrat.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, also called for the embassy to be moved, as did Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. There was no immediate reaction from Netanyahu himself.
The prime minister caused controversy when he ruled out a Palestinian state ahead of a 2015 general election, but later backtracked and has since expressed support for the two-state solution.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most difficult issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while the Israelis call the entire city their eternal indivisible capital. Trump has pledged to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.—AFP