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Netanyahu strikes election deal with ultra-nationalist party

August 29, 2019
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, gives a joint press conference with Zehut leader Moshe Feiglin, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. Zehut, a small Israeli ultra-nationalist party announced an agreement to drop out of the upcoming national elections to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. Netanyahu said at the press conference Thursday that he struck a deal with Feiglin to advance medical cannabis legislation and a ministerial post in a future government. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, gives a joint press conference with Zehut leader Moshe Feiglin, in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. Zehut, a small Israeli ultra-nationalist party announced an agreement to drop out of the upcoming national elections to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. Netanyahu said at the press conference Thursday that he struck a deal with Feiglin to advance medical cannabis legislation and a ministerial post in a future government. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

JERUSALEM (AP) — A small Israeli ultranationalist party has agreed to drop out of upcoming national elections to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party.

Netanyahu said at a press conference Thursday that he agreed to give a ministerial post in a future government to Zehut leader Moshe Feiglin and advance medical marijuana legislation, an issue supported by Feiglin. In exchange, Feiglin’s party agreed not to run in next month’s elections.

Zehut garnered nearly 120,000 votes in April’s elections, falling short of the minimum needed to enter parliament. Netanyahu is hoping those votes will now go to Likud in the September vote.

The party ran on a platform of marijuana legalization, free market economics and hard-line nationalist views.

Zehut members are slated to approve the agreement on Sunday.

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