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Fears Arab political bloc to split ahead of Israel election

January 29, 2021 at 10:32 am

Sami Abu Shehadeh at Middle East Monitor’s ‘Jerusalem: Legalising the Occupation’ conference in London, UK on March 3, 2018 [Jehan Alfarra/Middle East Monitor]

Uncertainty surrounds the fate of the Joint List bloc, which is made up of predominantly Arab parties, following reports of disagreements among its members, Israeli Broadcasting Corporation Makan reported yesterday.

The report came after the head of the National Democratic Gathering (Balad), MK Sami Abu Shehadeh, accused the head of the United Arab List, Mansour Abbas, of allying with Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, instead of the Arab community in Israel.

Abu Shehadeh warned Abbas that whoever violates the people’s will shall pay a heavy price for his decision.

Yesterday a Knesset committee met to discuss the southern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel’s application to split from the Joint List.

Meanwhile, an informed source in the Joint List told local Kul Al-Arab news site that the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality and National Democratic Alliance (Balad) who are current members in the Joint List and the Arab Movement for Renewal; a former member of the bloc have reached a preliminary agreement to run in the next general elections together.

READ: Israel’s Southern Islamic Movement seeks to separate from Joint List

The source added that the United Arab List led by Abbas is not interested in cooperating with these parties.

On the other hand, a source in the Joint List told the local Panet news site that he does not believe the Joint List would maintain its unity, explaining that the gap is too wide among its members.

According to the source, indications signal that there will be two lists representing the Arab community in Israel in the coming election; the first will bring the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality and the National Democratic Alliance (Balad) together while the second may bring together the United Arab List and Arab Movement for Renewal.