Who does the PA want to win Israel’s elections?

April 3, 2019 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas in Gaza are closely monitoring the development of the elections in Israel, with each opposing party preferring that another candidate win.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 27, 2018. Photo: Alaa Badarneh/A.P.

Both understand that the outcome of the elections in Israel can have a significant impact on the dormant diplomatic process.

The PA believes these elections are decisive for its future and can effete the internal struggle between it and Hamas. There is much discussion among in the PA’s public sphere about Israel’ elections, while all understand that the elections results will deeply impact the PA’s future.

Benjamin Netanyahu’s main rival, the Blue and White party headed by Benny Gantz, is receiving the support of Fatah and the PA.

The PA believes that Netanyahu will maintain the division between the PA and Gaza, and therefore is supported by Hamas. However, the Blue and White party has voiced support for PA head Mahmoud Abbas and therefore is supported by the PA.

Blue and White candidates have talked about unilateral withdrawals, a move the PA supports.

Official PA op-eds support the Blue and White party, which is perceived to espouse “pragmatic” political views and the support for a two-state solution. The PA is also pleased by the fact that left-wing parties have again taken the center of the political stage and are promoting a diplomatic process.

PA officials have also discussed a dilemma, in which they understand that security stability, to which they contribute, boosts Netanyahu’s position, but a lack of stability would threaten them as well.

The PA leaders also understand that the only way they can regain control of Gaza is with the help of the Blue and White party, and not with Netanyahu.

They are also worried about Israel success in the international arena and hope that Gantz will put more emphasis on Israel’s ties with the PA.

The PA likewise fears that Netanyahu’s victory will bring to the advent of the “extreme right” as they call it, a coalition of right-wing parties that will support Netanyahu’s government and push a possible annexation of areas in Judea and Samaria.

With all these points in mind, they prefer that Benny Gantz serves as Israel’s next prime minister.

Baruch Yedid is an investigative reporter with TPS

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