MK Ahmad Tibi is seeking to remove his Arab Movement for Renewal Party from the Joint List.
Tibi sent a letter to the Knesset legislative committee Tuesday seeking authorization for the split, and that it be approved swiftly.
The Joint List, which formed ahead of the 2015 elections, comprises Tibi’s Arab Renewal, Hadash, Balad and the United Arab List. The four parties united in the wake of a decision to raise the threshold for entering the Knesset, in order to preserve the Arab presence in parliament.
In response, Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh, who also heads Hadash, said that Tibi’s decision went against the good of the Israeli Arab population.
“More than anyone, (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu wishes to see the disintegration of the Joint List. The radical right wing wants to divide and conquer the Arabs and I am proud to be part of a party that knows how to put ideology ahead of personal interest.”
Last week, Balad leader Jamal Zahalka announced that he would not run in the upcoming Knesset elections. He said he would continue working for justice, freedom and equality as well as achieving peace.
On Saturday, controversial Joint List MK Hanin Zoabi announced that she too would not vie for a Knesset seat in April. Zoabi said that she was proud of her achievements and the fact that she did not leave anyone indifferent to what she represents.
Tibi’s request for separation is not the split of the 2019 elections. Last week, Labor leader Avi Gabbay stunned his political partner Tzipi Livni when he made the shock announcement that he was dissolving the Zionist Union - the partnership between Labour and her Hatnuah Party - for the April vote.