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Deadlock in Israeli election

Sep 18,2019 - Last updated at Sep 18,2019

Now that the Israeli elections are over with no decisive victory gained by either Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, or the incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, eyes are focused on which party leader will form the next government.

Yet one thing is sure, Netanyahu has been denied the decisive victory that he was hoping to get in order to have a free hand to finish off what he started out to do in the Palestinian territories. For all intents and purposes, Netanyahu's wings have been clipped by the poor showing of his Likud Party.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh mocked the two main Israeli contenders for the high office of prime minister by highlighting the difference between the two as like the difference between a “Pepsi Cola and Coca-Cola”.

Now the fate of Israel lies in the hands of Yisrael Beiteinu, which commands five seats in the Knesset, and the Union of Right-Wing Parties, which also has five seats in the Knesset, with whom Netanyahu hopes to join forces in order to have a majority support for forming the next Israeli government.

There will be considerable wheeling and dealing in the corridors of the Israeli parliament over the next few hours for this purpose. This means that the fate of the peace process would remain in limbo for as long as one can see. But it also means that Netanyahu's reckless claims on the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank will be put on hold.

How the Arab members of the Knesset play their cards may still make a difference on whether Gantz or Netanyahu will form the next government. The upcoming Arab reaction to the election results should be well studied and carefully prepared. Above all, the Arab capitals must demonstrate unity in their assessment of the newest Israeli election results. Otherwise, all sides must wait and see how the Israeli political landscape shapes up in the near future.

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