by Saud Abu Ramadan
GAZA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Palestinians voiced pessimism days before Israel's elections that the Jewish settlement issue will be further out of solution as Israel's upcoming elections are likely to bring more pro-settlement rightists into the parliament.
Israel's resumption of settlement construction was the major reason behind the 2010 breakdown of its peace process with the Palestinians, who say the settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem are eating away their lands and undermining the establishment of their future independent state.
The Palestinians' fears stem out from recent polls predicting another big win for Israeli right-wing in the elections slated for Tuesday.
In the past three years, thousands of houses were approved to be built in the settlements under the leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who leads the right-wing Likud.
The Palestinians, as always, bank on international pressures to halt settlement expansion and lands confiscation, and help restart the peace talks and establish an independent Palestinian state.
ISRAELI "EXTREMISM" GROWS
Wassel Abu Yousef, an official of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), believes a more "extremist" Israel is in the making. "Over the past two years, Israel had increased settlement activities and confiscation of lands and turned its back to the peace process." Abu Yousef told Xinhua on phone.
Observers and analysts in Gaza and the West Bank agreed with Abu Yousef that the forthcoming elections will produce an even more "extreme" government that will keep endorsing settlement construction and hamper a Palestinian state from being established.
Akram Atallah, a Gaza-based political analyst specialized in Israeli affairs told Xinhua that the results of the Israeli elections, whether the right-wing or the other middle or left-wing groups win, would certainly influence the Palestinian cause in terms of a future permanent peaceful solution.
"All indications point to the probability of Netanyahu's re- election," said Atallah, adding that the prime minister can " easily make coalition with other extreme right-wing parties and form a new government that will make it harder for the peace process."
In response to the increasing Israeli settlements, the Palestinians have a few counter-measures at hand besides its success in upgrading its UN status to that of a non-member observer state.
"Our powerful alternative is to immediately achieve reconciliation and end the internal division between the West Bank and Gaza," Abu Yousef, who is closed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, adding "to keep addressing the international community and empowering our peaceful popular resistance are also our alternatives."
During the past 10 days, Palestinian activists managed to build up two camps of tents on pieces of lands near Jerusalem, saying that those camps are meant to appeal to the international community that the settlements are harmful to the peace and stability in the region.
Also last week, Abbas' Fatah Party and its rival Islamic Hamas movement agreed in Cairo to reactivate and implement their previous understandings and agreements reached last year and set a deadline of Jan. 30.
"Beside all these alternatives, the Palestinian leadership can also go to the international courts and sue Israel for its policy, mainly settlement," said Abu Yousef, adding that "the idea of resuming the peace talks with Israel based on halting settlement and on international resolutions is also an alternative."
When it comes to issues with Israel, rivaling Fatah and Hamas' views become similar. They agree that the right-wing parties in Israel are the enemies of the Middle East peace.
Mushir al-Masri, a Gaza-based Hamas lawmaker told Xinhua that different Israeli parties are faces of the same coin. "All of them are representing an occupation force that commits crimes against our people, our holy sites and our lands."
"The hands of the former Zionist governments and the incoming one are covered with the blood of the Palestinian children, therefore, I believe that what is needed to confront those criminals is reconciliation and ending all our disputes," said al- Masri.
Adnan Abu Aamer, a university professor specialized in the history of the conflicts in the Middle East in Gaza, said that the elections in Israel since the Jewish country was born in 1948 are of no difference. He said in the elections, one matter that all Israeli parties agree on is to uproot the Palestinians from their lands.
"I don't think that the next three years will see ... a permanent peaceful solution ending the conflict once and for all," said Abu Aamer, predicting that more "extremists" will take part in Israel's new government.