Islamic party becomes surprise kingmaker after Israel election

6 months ago 54

Raam enactment connected way to triumph 5 seats successful Israel's 120-member parliament, with astir 90% of the ballot counted

raam enactment      person  mansour abbas photograph  reuters file

Raam enactment person Mansour Abbas. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Israel's predetermination brought a astonishment erstwhile a blimpish Islamic enactment crossed the threshold to participate parliament and its person emerged connected Wednesday arsenic a imaginable kingmaker.

Mansour Abbas and his Raam enactment -- dissimilar different Arab governmental groups earlier it -- person not ruled retired joining an Israeli government.

"We are prepared to engage" with either Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's campy oregon his rivals, Abbas told Israeli vigor portion stressing that "I'm not successful anyone's pocket".

On Wednesday the enactment was connected way to triumph 5 seats successful Israel's 120-member Knesset, with astir 90% of the ballot counted.

Israel's latest inconclusive predetermination near nary wide way for Netanyahu oregon his rivals to signifier a government, mounting the signifier for protracted conjugation talks.

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When Israel past voted a twelvemonth ago, Raam had been portion of the chiefly Arab Joint List. But that confederation fractured earlier this twelvemonth amid ideological divisions betwixt Abbas and his erstwhile partners.

The blimpish Abbas agelong had frictions with different Arab Israeli factions, including those with communist roots.

Weeks earlier Tuesday's vote, Abbas indicated an openness to dealing with Netanyahu, adjacent though the premier has demonised Arab-Israelis astatine assorted points done his governmental career.

But Abbas argued that Arab leaders person a work to spouse with whoever is successful powerfulness successful bid to tackle a transgression epidemic rocking Arab communities.

No reddish lines

Analysis by authorities broadcaster Kan ballot showed that the combined spot of the declared pro-Netanyahu parties was 52 seats portion those seeking to extremity his agelong reign commanded 56.

For Netanyahu, that means securing a 61-seat bulk could necessitate an confederation with his estranged erstwhile protege, the spiritual nationalist Naftali Bennett, who is projected to power 7 seats, arsenic good arsenic with Abbas.

Such confederation would nevertheless beryllium plagued by bitter divisions.

The pro-Netanyahu bloc pursuing Tuesday's ballot besides includes the far-right extremist Religious Zionism bloc whose members person spouted incendiary anti-Arab rhetoric.

The prospects for Raam and Religious Zionism to beryllium a unchangeable conjugation nether Netanyahu look dim.

For the ideologically divided anti-Netanyahu camp, bringing Abbas connected committee could besides beryllium complicated.

That bloc includes the staunchly secular centrist Yesh Atid party, led by Yair Lapid, spiritual right-wingers who defected from Netanyahu's Likud, arsenic good arsenic Abbas's rivals successful the Joint List.

Amal Jamal, an expert astatine Tel Aviv University, said Abbas "has nary reddish lines" and could align with whichever campy champion caters to his interests.

"He volition flirt with each parties to effort and execute what helium wants," Jamal said.

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