Dr. Ahmed Tibi, the Israeli Arab adviser to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, has announced his withdrawal from the Knesset race.
Tibi told a news conference Tuesday that he did not have enough time to organize his campaign, adding that recent polls indicated that his party, the Arab Movement for Change, would not receive the minimum 1.5 percent of the total vote needed to win representation in the Knesset.
Tibi added that he did not want to split the vote of the Israeli Arab electorate and urged his followers to support parties that back the peace process.
Tibi voiced the hope that his decision to withdraw would strengthen the Arab parties’ representation in the Knesset.
He also called on Israeli Arab voters to support Shimon Peres in the race for prime minister.
One of the Arab parties remaining in the Knesset race, the Arab Democratic Party-United Arab List, also announced Tuesday that it was supporting Peres for prime minister.