Palestine Slams Israel’s ‘Government of War’

Palestine Slams Israel’s ‘Government of War’Palestine Slams Israel’s ‘Government of War’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new rightwing “government of war” is a blow to an already stagnating peace process, Palestinians said Thursday, vowing to fight it on the international stage.

The Palestine Liberation Organization blasted Israel’s “extremist” cabinet, after Netanyahu announced a coalition government that gave him a slim parliamentary majority and included ministers who oppose the internationally-sanctioned two-state solution, AFP reported.

“This is a colonial settler cabinet, no doubt about that,” senior official Nabil Shaath told journalists in the West Bank city of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority.

“It’s a cabinet that includes all of those people who want to maintain Israeli occupation,” he noted.

Netanyahu’s new government, which he formed at the 11th hour, several weeks after winning his third straight term in office, includes ministers intent on expanding Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, an issue that has derailed round upon round of US-brokered peace talks.

As Netanyahu formed his government, Israel approved the construction of 900 new settler homes in a controversial east Beit al-Muqaddas neighborhood.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said before the March 17 election that he was willing to enter talks with whoever was reelected. But Palestinian officials bristled at the cabinet line-up that emerged on Wednesday night.

“The face of a new form of racist, discriminatory Israel has been revealed,” chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said in a statement.