Israel Bans Palestinian Party from Running in Upcoming Elections

Balad chairman Sami Abu Shehadeh. (Photo: via MEMO)

Israel’s Central Election Committee on Thursday banned a major party representing Palestinian citizens of Israel from running in forthcoming elections, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.

The CEC voted 9 to 5 to ban the National Democratic Assembly (Balad/Tajammu’), led by Sami Abu Shehadeh, from running in the November Knesset elections.

In parallel, the CEC rejected disqualification motions filed by right-wing Israeli organizations against the United Arab List (Ra’am), led by MK Mansour Abbas.

The banning motion was requested by an Israeli party called Anachnu (‘We Are Together Towards a New Social Order’). According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, it was supported by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party.

Anachnu claimed that Balad/Tajammu’ rejects Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and instead supports “a state of all its citizens”.

Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, will appeal the CEC’s decision to the Israeli Supreme Court, which is slated to hold a hearing on the disqualification on Thursday.


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