Israeli Knesset Member and leader of the Arab Unity Party (Hadash) Ayman Odeh cast his vote in the country-wide election in Haifa early on Monday.
Speaking about the significance of the election, Odeh said, « It is clear to everyone that we are getting stronger, however; it is also clear at the same time that Netanyahu and the far-right are also getting stronger towards the 61 seats [in the... Еще parliament]. That's why only one additional seat for the [Arab] Joint List will prevent Netanyahu and the far-right from forming a government. Today we prove our existence, status and respect, and we put our massive weight in the political scene.»
The election is particularly important for Arab Israeli citizens, as recent analyses have suggested that their turnout could swing the vote against Netanyahu.
Monday's election was triggered by the failure of both Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and his rival Benny Gantz's to form a coalition, and comes just two weeks before Netanyahu is scheduled to have his first court hearing in three corruption cases. Opinion polling indicates that Gantz's Blue and White party and Netanyahu's Likud remain neck-and-neck going into the election.