Palestinian president hopes for peace after Israeli elections

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he hoped that Israel’s parliamentary elections on Tuesday could help bring peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was facing a close battle with centrist Benny Gantz in the polls.

Without supporting a particular candidate, Abbas told journalists he was following the elections.

He said he hoped the new government would understand “peace is in ours, theirs and the world’s interests.”

“All that we hope is there will be a just way, a correct way to reach peace,” he said.

“We don’t need any government that doesn’t believe in peace.”

Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations have been frozen since the US-brokered process collapsed in 2014 amid mutual accusations of blame.

Abbas, whose government is based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, reiterated that the Palestinian leadership would be open to negotiations.

But he has frozen ties with the White House over US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and has vowed not to cooperate with the peace plan Washington is expected to release.

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