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Israel's elections body refuses to disqualify Joint List

A man casts his vote during the Israeli general elections in Tel Aviv on 9 April 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]
A man casts his vote during the Israeli general elections in Tel Aviv on 9 April 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh/Anadolu Agency]

Israel's Central Elections Committee yesterday refused to disqualify Joint List bloc, an alliance of predominantly Arab parties, ahead of the Knesset elections due next month, local media reported.

Prior to looking into petitions against the Joint List, the Elections Committee disqualified Arab candidate in the Labor party Ibtisam Mara'ana following a petition filed against her by the Otzma Yehudit party.

Mara'ana, who is a Muslim Arab citizen married to a Jewish man, was criticised over a comment she made on social media in 2012 for which she has previously apologised.

The move was contrary to the opinion issued about her dismissal by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who said he does not believe her comments justify preventing her from running.

Member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, Shlomo Karhi, was reported saying: "The Arab citizens of Israel already know that the Arab [parties] do not represent them."

He added: "The Arab citizens of Israel are tired of those who do not care for them and they already understand that the Likud [party] led by Netanyahu is the one that maintains the security and well-being of all Israeli citizens."

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