Newly elected Arab Knesset members meet with Abbas in Ramallah


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Four members of Israel’s Joint Arab List elected to the Knesset met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.

Ayman Odeh, the Arab-Israeli party’s leader, headed the delegation that visited  the Muquata, the P.A.’s headquarters in Ramallah, on Tuesday evening, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported Wednesday. The others were Masoud Ghanayim, Jamal Zahalqa and Usama al-Saadi.

With its 13 seats garnered in last week’s election, the Joint Arab List will be the third largest party in Israel’s parliament. The party did not recommend any political leader to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to serve as prime minister.

Four Arab parties — United Arab List, Ta’al, Balad and Hadash — combined to create the Joint Arab List in order to reach 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 on Tuesday, where he reportedly apologized for anti-Arab fear mongering in the waning hours of Election Day.

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