Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party scored a decisive victory in Israel’s election Tuesday, winning the most seats in the legislature and toppling its main rival, the center-left Zionist Union.

The Guardian reports:

Despite the scale of his win, Netanyahu’s victory is likely to carry heavy political and diplomatic costs for Israel, as he swerved sharply right in his efforts to attract an increasingly hardline vote taken largely from pro-settlement nationalist and religious parties.

… Netanyahu appears locked on a collision course with both Palestinians and the international community after disavowing his previous support for a two-state solution made in a speech in 2009. Netanyahu’s return to power on the back of his unequivocal opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state – a key policy of Washington and the EU – seems certain to exacerbate his already difficult relationship with the US administration of Barack Obama during the president’s final two years in office.

Assuming he can form a government before the beginning of next month, Netanyahu will face an immediate crisis with Palestinians determined to present claims of war crimes against Israel over its 48-year occupation of the West Bank and last year’s war in Gaza on 1 April.

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.


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