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For Palestinians, Israel’s Election Offers Bleak Horizon

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to his Likud party members during a campaign event near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Netanyahu on Monday accused the publisher of the Yediot Ahronot daily newspaper of carrying out a smear campaign against him in the hopes of pushing him out of office. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to his Likud party members during a campaign event near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

 

(YNet News) – As Israelis prepare to elect a new government next week, the view from the Palestinian territories in the West Bank and Gaza is not one of hope.

The decades-old conflict has barely featured in the campaign, leaving Palestinians with the sense that whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secures a fourth term in office or the center-left opposition pulls off a victory, as the latest polls suggest, little is likely to change.

Peace talks broke down in April 2014, after nine months of negotiations led by the United States, with the long-standing goal of a two-state solution – Israel and an independent Palestine side-by-side – no closer.

“The two-state solution is no longer on the table,” said Gaza-based political analyst Talal Okal.

“Israel is moving towards isolating and confiscating all of Jerusalem,” he said, while Gaza, a 40-km-long strip of land on the Mediterranean coast, remains blockaded by Israel and Egypt, the movement of people and goods closely monitored.

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