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In first for Israel, Arab party speaks with official voice in coalition talks

Whatever the outcome of tonight's talks on the composition of a new government, Raam head Mansour Abbas had already made history by openly participating in the negotiations for the change coalition.
Amir Levy/Getty Images

This article is being penned just hours before the midnight deadline for composing a new government in Israel expires. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has until midnight tonight to inform President Reuven Rivlin whether he succeeded in assembling a majority-backed cabinet. Negotiations continued throughout the night last night at Kfar Hamakabiya hotel, with a few obstacles still unsolved by this morning. Nevertheless, reports claim that the Arab Raam party would get what it demanded in exchange for backing the change bloc coalition. Its demands are largely focused on bettering the lives of Arabs citizens of Israel in terms of development plans and investment.

These hurried negotiations were launched after Yamina leader Naftali Bennett announced May 30 his intention to join a government with Lapid, who holds the mandate to form a government. “There’s unity or fifth elections,” declared Bennett, insisting it was time to stop the political madness in Israel. 

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