The head of the Islamic Movement in the parts of Palestine occupied in 1948 – now called Israel – has told Palestinians not to pin too many hopes on the incoming Israeli government or new parliament.
Sheikh Raed Salah told Turkey's Anadolu news agency, "We must not pin our hopes on the Knesset but we have to pin hopes on Arab and Islamic unity in general, and Palestinian unity in particular, to confront the Judaisation of Jerusalem and ongoing Israeli violations of the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque." Neither right-wing nor left-wing Israeli governments do anything in favour of the Palestinian cause, he added.
Asked why the Islamic Movement called for Israeli-Arabs to boycott the election, Sheikh Salah said that the Knesset "is just an extension of the Zionist project". Israel's parliament, he insisted, still "exploits" the presence of Arab MKs in order to "beautify its ugly face", and to try to show the world that it is the "only democracy in the Middle East". The Knesset has done nothing to target the injustices faced by Arab MKs or any other Palestinians, he pointed out.
An estimated 5.6 million Israelis voted in the country's general election on Tuesday.