Israel’s election result, officially announced Monday, has brought to an end a decade of diplomatic wrangling and heightened tensions with the Palestinian Authority, with the election widely expected to be held before the end of the year.
The vote was seen as an important test of a Palestinian unity government led by Mahmoud Abbas that the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has long sought.
But the results have also put a strain on Netanyahu’s relationship with the Palestinians and his ability to push his own right-wing Likud party into power, which has dominated Israeli politics for the past five decades.
In a statement announcing the result, Netanyahu’s office said his Likadist coalition, which won the election with more than 50 percent of the vote, would form a new government with Abbas’s Fatah and the two-thirds majority of seats needed for the parliament to take up a draft law.
“The victory of the new government is a major step towards a peaceful and prosperous future for the people of Israel,” Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, said in a statement.
“The Palestinian Authority is not going anywhere.”
The vote comes a month after Abbas’s party won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections that paved the way for the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, a quasi-government of the Palestinians.
Abbas has repeatedly said that if he wins the elections he will form a unity government with the Fatah-led PA and the Israeli military.
In the days following the results, Palestinians and Israelis alike were united in condemnation of the outcome, with many comparing the outcome to the 1948 war that led to the creation of Israel.
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said the election results, which came after a week of tense and often bloody street demonstrations, were a rejection of any “racist, fascist, racist, apartheid, colonialist or settler state” and a “historic victory for Palestinian rights.”
The United States, Britain, France and Germany abstained from voting in the election.
The United Nations voted against voting in favor of the deal.
A Palestinian woman holds up a poster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a rally in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Jan. 9, 2020.
The Palestinians have long demanded a Palestinian state alongside Israel, with a future independent state, but the talks have been stalled since 2014.
Abbas has said he wants a two-state solution that recognizes the Jewish state as the nation-state of Israel and the Palestinian people as an integral part of that state.
The deal, known as the two state solution, was hammered out during the six-year negotiations between Netanyahu and Abbas, which were largely aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and allowing the establishment a Palestinian national identity and a unified government.
The two sides have been unable to agree on a final agreement, with Netanyahu seeking a two state-for-two territories agreement that would divide Jerusalem into a Jewish and Palestinian capital.
A view of the Jerusalem Temple compound, which is part of the Old City in Jerusalem, during a visit to the site in 2014.
Abbas’s Fatacist Fatah party is one of the two major political parties in the Palestinian territories.