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Lapid meets Joint List leaders in effort to prevent Netanyahu government

Joint List chair Ayman Odeh, of the Hadash faction, and senior Joint List parliamentarian Ahmad Tibi (Ta’al) have finished their meeting with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid.

“Our goal is to prevent a Netanyahu-Smotrich-Ben Gvir government, and we agreed on that,” Tibi says in a video put out by the Joint List on Facebook, later calling preventing such a coalition “the beginning of change.”

But the Joint List leaders repeat that they will not consider recommending Lapid unless he receives 55 recommendations from other MKs.

“First of all, [Lapid] must reach 55 recommendations. If he reaches that number, we are prepared to examine the matter from all angles, through all the issues, from the overhanging national cause to the issues which matter to Arab citizens [of Israel],” Odeh says.

Odeh mentions changing the so-called Jewish nation-state law and the 2017 Kamenitz law targeting illegal Arab construction, fighting violence and organized crime, and budgets for Arab municipalities as key issues. Tibi also cites improving urban planning and reducing unemployment among Arab Israelis as priorities.

Balad party chief Sami Abou Shehadeh abstains from the meeting. His party has already said it plans to recommend no one, and calls on Odeh and Tibi to do likewise.

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