The outcome of Tuesday’s midterm elections in the United States marked the Republican party’s victory in the House of Representatives with a majority of at least 62 seats gained. No change is expected by Palestinians on the status of Palestine in the current peace negotiations. In light of Tuesday’s results of U.S. midterm elections, the Republicans are expected to push the Obama administration to be easier on Israel. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), due to become House Majority Leader, announced to Haaretz last week: ‘If we regain the majority, we will use our larger platform to make the case that a strong Israel is firmly in the strategic and moral interests of the United States. We will press the administration not to pressure Israel into making concessions that will compromise Israel’s already tenuous security.”

John Boehner (R-Ohio), who will become Speaker of the House of Representatives, is known to be pro-Israel. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida), the new chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is one of the most active House members with regards to Israeli issues.

The secretary-general of the PLO’s Executive Committee, Yasser Abed Rabbo, claims that the Israeli government influenced the election results with the intention to derail the present peace process.

Numerous Palestinian officials believe that the outcome of the U.S. elections will have little impact on the question of Palestine in the peace talks. Similarly, U.S. State Department spokesman Phillip Crowley commented that the election results would not impact the Middle East peace process, noting that U.S. foreign policy was mostly bipartisan and would not be affected.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had anticipated that talks with the Palestinian Authority would progress once the midterm elections in the US concluded.

The United States initiated direct peace talks in Washington on September 2nd. However, the negotiations reached a stalemate within weeks due to Israel’s refusal to extend the temporary freeze on settlement construction in occupied Palestinian territories, following the expiry of a 10-month partial suspension on September 26th.

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