Newly elected Arab Knesset members meet with Abbas in Ramallah

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Members of the Israeli political party, the Joint Arab List, met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in the West Bank.

The delegation include the head of the list, Ayman Odeh, as well as other new Knesset members Masoud Ghanayim, Jamal Zahalqa, and Usama al-Saadi, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported Wednesday.

The meeting took place at the Muquata on Tuesday evening.
With its 13 seats, the Joint Arab List will be the third largest party in Israel’s Knesset, the national legislature. The party did not recommend any political leader to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to serve as prime minister.

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The joint list is made up of four Arab parties — United Arab List, Ta’al, Balad and Hadash. The parties banded together in order to be able to pass the electoral threshold of four seats. More than 90 percent of Arab-Israeli voters supported the coalition in the elections, the party said citing its own polling results.

During the meeting, Abbas reportedly praised the party.

Party members said they had not been invited to the meeting of Arab and other minority leaders with Netanyahu yesterday, where he reportedly apologized for anti-Arab fear mongering in the waning hours of Election Day.