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Netanyahu initiates contact with Arab MK to form coalition government

Copies of ballots papers and campaign posters for Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party lie on the ground in the aftermath of the country's parliamentary elections, early on 18 March, 2015 in Tel Aviv [AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ/Getty]
Copies of ballots papers and campaign posters for Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party lie on the ground in the aftermath of the country's parliamentary elections, early on 18 March, 2015 in Tel Aviv [AFP PHOTO/JACK GUEZ/Getty]

Israel Hayom has reported Head of the Israeli Likud Party Benjamin Netanyahu starting contacts with Arab Israeli MK Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamic Movement's southern branch, to form a new coalition government, Shehab News Agency reported on Friday.

"There is no difference between Mansour Abbas and Ayman Odeh – the two of them will not be in the government. They represent parties that oppose the State of Israel," Netanyahu told Radio Haifa on 12 March.

However, after Abbas obtained five seats in the Knesset, Haredi allies of the Likud Party mediated with Netanyahu to bring Abbas to the right-wing bloc.

Head of the Nazareth municipality Ali Salem has stated that Abbas and the United Arab List would choose to join Netanyahu and the right-wing parties.

While the extremist right-wingers in Israel absolutely reject Arab MKs as part of any Israeli government coalition, the Haredis would accept them as the last chance to give Netanyahu support to form a government.

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