Balad will not offer support to a minority government headed by Blue and White leader Benny Gantz, said MK Mtanes Shehadeh during a Tuesday interview with 103 FM radio, Maariv, the sister publication of the Jerusalem Post reported.
Without such support, Gantz is unlikely to form a ruling coalition as he is likely to be blocked by the right wing coalition currently composed of 55 MKs. It is however, theoretically possible that some of these MKs will decide to break ranks and join him.
Speaking about the violence epidemic in the Arab society in Israel, 77 Arab-Israelis died due to violence in 2019 so far, Shehadeh said that while the first step to solve the issue would be more police involvement, other steps are needed such as economic development, infrastructure, education and housing.
While his party, Balad, will not support Gantz he said other Joint Arab List leaders will “sit and discuss the issue according to the political developments.”
He said that, as far as he can see, Blue and White is aiming to form a unity government with Likud.
United Arab List MK Mansour Abbas, who is also a part of the Joint Arab List, said that it might be possible “we will be able to set a new status que where everybody will view the Arab list as a legitimate party for negotiations.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu railed against the possibility of any deal between Blue and White and Arab parties, claiming that such a government will not be able to address security threats the Jewish State must content with due to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Arab-Israelis, while a complex society with various different groups, some of which serve in the IDF and consider themselves Israeli, face the challenge of being both Palestinians and living within Israel proper. While some argue that they must at least speak out about Palestinian issues within Israel itself others point to the legitimate needs of a minority that must adapt to existing conditions.
“We are bleeding today,” said Abbas, “the sanctity of life and the crime within Arab society was and will be the first thing we call to resolve.”
Speaking about his own Druze town of Maghar he pointed out it did not have a building outlines since 1996, making new houses construction impossible and the lives of young families very difficult.
When asked what will his party members do if Israel is attacked with rockets from the Gaza Strip, he said Netanyahu was able to reach a sort of agreement in the past that prevented such situations.
“It is possible to reach an understanding that will allow us all to live here in safety,” he said, “the main thing is for all to see there is a horizon in there is a state-solution [to the Arab-Israeli conflict].”
The Gaza Strip had been controlled by Hamas since the terror group took it over in 2007 following it’s victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections.
Ever since that time the West Bank had been controlled by the Palestinian Authority and the Gaza Strip by Hamas.