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As Israel's Joint Arab List mulls splitting up, Hadash party reelects Odeh

Ayman Odeh, 40, a first-time parliamentary candidate and the leader of the combined Arab list, from the communist Hadash party, poses in his house in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Haifa, Israel, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
AP Photo/Dan Balilty
At present, the Joint (Arab) List holds 13 of the 120 seats in the Knesset.

As the fate of the alliance between Israel's Arab political parties remains uncertain in the run up to April elections, the Jewish-Arab Hadash party on Friday re-elected Member of Knesset (MK) Ayman Odeh as chairman.

Hadash, founded as a grouping of Israel's

“In the face of incitement, in the face of the Nation State Law, in the face of racism, in the face of despair, Hadash and the Joint (Arab) List will lead values of peace, equality, democracy and justice,” Odeh said after the vote, thanking his supporters.

“We will put all our strength to replace the right-wing government. We can not do this alone, but it is impossible (for this to happen) without us. A left without the Arab population is not left. Only a broad democratic camp is a real alternative to the fascist and extreme right-wing regime,” he added.

MK Aida Touma-Suleiman was elected for the second slot on the Hadash party list, while Ofer Kassif placed third. Kassif is currently the only Jewish candidate on the mostly Arab party’s list, after Dov Khenin announced his resignation from politics last month.

Ellie Stern/ i24NEWS

Hadash approved MK Aida Touma-Suleiman for the second spot on the party list, while the party’s only Jewish candidate, Ofer Kassif, received the third slot.

Last month, the future of the Joint (Arab) List - what was once an alliance of the four parties representing Arab citizens of Israel - became uncertain when head of the Ta’al party, MK Ahmad Tibi, announced his party would run alone in the April 9 vote.

Since then, the remaining parties in the Joint List are in the process of deciding whether or not they should continue working together.

Polls taken after the split revealed Ta’al alone could receive as many as 6 seats, while the other parties receive the same amount running together.

At present, the Joint List holds 13 of the 120 seats in the Knesset.

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