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Palestinians' electoral success in Israel can't be denied

Palestinian citizens of Israel made a huge accomplishment in the latest Israel elections by winning an unprecedented 15 seats.

Palestinian citizens in Israel made a powerful statement in the March 2 elections, with the Arab Joint List winning an unprecedented 15 seats in the 120-member Knesset. The alliance consists of Hadash (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality), headed by Ayman Odeh; the Arab Movement for Change, led by Ahmad Tibi; the Islamic Movement, headed by Abbas Mansour; and the nationalist Balad, led by Mtanes Shehadeh. The 64.7% of Palestinian voters who turned out cast their ballots almost exclusively for the Joint List, thus thwarting the hopes of the current Israeli caretaker prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to form a majority coalition government of 61 members.

Fadi Elsalameen, adjunct senior fellow at the Washington, DC-based American Security Project, told Al-Monitor that the results of the elections stand as a huge success for Palestinian citizens in Israel. “This success not only blocks Netanyahu from forming a government, but also ends the right-wing agenda of excluding Palestinian Arabs from having a place in Israeli politics,” Elsalameen said.

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