The leader of the Arab Ra'am party said Tuesday while casting his vote in the elections, that he "does not rule out a possibility" of joining a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Mansour Abbas has recently gotten closer to Netanyahu, insisting he is ready to work with the prime minister, prompting condemnation from the Joint List lawmakers and potentially splintering the Arab vote.
After casting his vote in his hometown of Maghar in northern Israel, Abbas said he was "optimistic" about passing the electoral threshold, although polls so far have givenhim with no more then four potential seats in the Knesset.
In the September 2019 elections, the Joint List (alliance of Israel's Arab parties) won 15 seats in the Knesset, coming third behind Netanyahu's Likud party and centrist Blue & White bloc, a historic high due to the massive participation of Arab-Israelis in the election process.
For Israel's fourth election though, Ra'am has decided to run by itself. "We are looking for meaningful representation for Israeli Arabs, representation that can influence decision-making," Mansour Abbas said told The Times of Israel.
"Whoever reaches out to us, we will work with them. I'm not ruling out that possibility."
Netanyahu has, however, repeatedly brushed off a possibility of forming a government supported by Ra'am.
Several weeks ago, Netanyahu presented his special plan to curb crime in the Arab sector, declaring that several million shekels had been allocated for the cause. Despite Netanyahu's promises and attempts to woo the Arab population, the voting rate among the sector stood at only 9% by 12 pm on Tuesday.
Republished with permission from i24NEWS