Israel’s Arab parties unite ahead of parliamentary elections

Israel’s Arab parties unite ahead of parliamentary elections

JERUSALEM (Rahnuma): The parties representing Israel’s Arab minority announced on Thursday that they are uniting and will run in a joint list in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections.

The four Arab parties first united ahead of the 2015 parliament elections, winning 13 seats in the 120-seat Knesset (parliament). But in the recent April elections, they ran separately, a move that cost them three seats in total, and one of the parties almost failed to pass the electoral threshold.

In a joint statement released by representatives of the four parties, they concede the results of the last elections were “a severe blow.”

The parties expressed their “full commitment to running on the joint list and to beginning formulating its political platform and strategic and administrative plan.”

The parties have yet to reach an agreement over the slate and finalize the party’s joint political platform.

The elections will be held on Sept. 17. It will be the second elections in Israel this year. The elections were called after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a majority government coalition.

Arab citizens of Israel make up about 20 percent of Israel’s nine million citizens. They often complain over discrimination and racism by the Jewish majority.

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