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Israel’s Arab parties reunite for upcoming elections

June 20, 2019

JERUSALEM (AP) — Four political parties representing Israel’s Arab minority have announced they will unite for the upcoming parliamentary elections.

After last spring’s disappointing showing, the move looks to boost turnout and improve Arab representation in parliament.

The four factions first united in 2015, earning 13 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. They ran in two separate lists in April, which cost them a combined three seats, as one of the factions barely crossed the electoral threshold.

Ayman Odeh, the group’s perspective leader, says Thursday it was a mistake to run separately and the group is now committed to “national unity.”

Israel is heading to its second election this year, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a majority coalition government.

Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s 9 million citizens.

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