Israel Elections: People in Israel have cast their vote to elect a new parliament for the fifth time in less than four years. It is well known that the country has faced a prolonged political crisis due to the inability of politicians to form a stable government since April 2019. According to exit polls, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the road to victory in Tuesday’s election. “We are close to a major victory,” he told his supporters in Jerusalem.
Exit poll trends are showing that Benjamin Netanyahu is going to become the Prime Minister of the country once again. However, here it is also very important to understand with what thinking the Palestinians have voted this time. According to a report on Al Jazeera, Haifa-based political analyst Amir Makhoul says Palestinians in Israel “have a lack of hope in political parties and the Knesset.” He said there was a sense of despair and defeat among the Palestinians and they were not interested in the elections.
The Palestinians make up 20 percent of the population living in Israel and hold Israeli passports. They became an involuntary minority during the violent ethnic cleansing of Palestine to create a “Jewish state” from 1947 to 1949. Since then, due to repressive Israeli policies against them, Israel has suffered overcrowding, high crime rates, domestic violence in the Palestinian territories, as well as violence and heavy surveillance by Israeli authorities.
What did the Palestinians say?
Residents say these long-standing issues have worsened despite the involvement of Palestinian parties in Israeli politics. Khalil Gharra, 30, of Jatt village, lives in Haifa, while he used to vote for Tjamu. He did not vote this year, as he believes political parties “are not capable of doing anything inside the Knesset” and “trying to make the state more democratic from within has not helped.”
Nijmeh Hijazi, 32, from Tamra, on the outskirts of Haifa, also supported Gharra’s views. He told Al Jazeera, “Some people are saying: Stop intimidating us with Ben-Gavir and the smotrichs of the far south. We are more aware than that. Talk to us rationally, about what you have achieved, What impact have you made?”
He said, “You are afraid of Ben-Gavir of what is happening in Palestinian society, but why don’t you fear the crime that is happening in our communities? They put cameras in all our cities and they told them this. Tied to the police system on the pretext that surveillance will prevent and reduce crime.
Palestinian position in Israel
According to media reports, during the past decade, crime and killings have increasingly plagued the Palestinian community inside Israel, with more than 100 Palestinians killed last year. According to the Haifa-based Adalah Legal Rights Group, Israel has built at least 900 new Jewish cities since 1948, but not a single Palestinian one.
Palestinians in Israel face severe restrictions on urban planning, development and expansion due to Israeli policies. The majority of Palestinian Arabs in Israel live in cities and villages, while a minority live in so-called “mixed cities” such as Haifa and Jaffa. These cities were ethnically cleared in 1948 and are now home to an Israeli Jewish majority.
Netanyahu ahead in Israel election
Voting has concluded in Israel on Tuesday and if current trends are to be believed, Netanyahu is once again ready to become the Prime Minister of the country. The election was widely seen as a vote in favor or against Netanyahu’s return. At the same time, in the coming few hours, the picture will be completely clear and the fate of Netanyahu will also be decided. However, his main rival, current Prime Minister Yair Lapid, said “nothing has been decided yet.”
Netanyahu, 73, is one of Israel’s most controversial political figures, hated by many at the center. However, Likud’s grassroots supporters love him a lot. Netanyahu is currently facing charges of alleged bribery, fraud and breach of trust. His potential allies in the Likud-led coalition government have said he would reform the law, a move that would stall his trial.
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