Israel's Lapid vows no negotiations with Palestinians when he becomes PM
Lapid, who is also an alternate prime minister, said the coalition government under his leadership will not negotiate a two-state solution with Palestinians, despite growing international pressure on Israel to do so.
In an agreement struck last year, current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will serve as premier for the first half of the government's term, while Lapid serves as premier for the second half.
Bennett's right-wing Yamina Party is opposed to a two-state solution, while others in the coalition government are more supportive of a peace process with the Palestinians if conditions change.
Lapid’s comments came as reassurance to his ministry, which had expressed concern that 2022 will see "growing efforts" by Palestinian groups to try and obtain UN recognition that Israel is an apartheid state.
Israel strongly denies the claims despite its illegitimate practices against Palestinians and countless violations in the occupied West Bank.
Apartheid was the name of the oppressive system in South Africa that kept Black people subjugated under white rule. Many NGOs and a growing number of politicians in the West view Israel as guilty of the same against Palestinians.
The EU slammed Israel for its use of administrative detention as the family of hunger-striker Hisham Abu Hawash says he is on 'the brink of death'.https://t.co/lFOWCPlk9y— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) January 4, 2022
Last week, Lapid held talks in Cairo along with the Egyptian and Palestinian foreign ministers about how to break the current stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The minister, just like the rest of the government headed by Bennett, also vehemently opposes the reopening of the US consulate in Jerusalem, which previously served Palestinians but closed under former President Donald Trump.
The government has made clear it will reject any such diplomatic missions in Jerusalem, which Israel considers in full to be its eternal capital, but President Joe Biden has vowed to reopen the consulate.
Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of any possible future state, and international law considers this sector as illegally occupied by Israel.