14:40 GMT18 May 2021
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    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)
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    Israeli occupation is not only a burden for the Palestinian people, but has a negative impact on the Israeli economy and the country's budget, Joint List candidate Dr. Abdullah Abu Marouf told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israel's Joint List, an alliance in the country of four Arab-majority parties, is willing to support any political force that will promote peace and put an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, Joint List candidate Dr. Abdullah Abu Marouf told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    The Arab alliance is committed to peace and equality, he said. "This is our main position and it does not change. We are against the right-wing camp and specifically against Netanyahu and his party."

    Netanyahu ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state if he wins Tuesday's election. Palestinians seek an independent state on territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including the West Bank and the Gaza strip.

    "We are fighting with all our might for him to leave and not head the government," Marouf told Sputnik.

    The aspiring parliamentarian expressed skepticism towards the leftist Zionist bloc as well, but stressed that his alliance is ready to support any winning party if it shows a will to work towards achieving peace and ending occupation on the basis of UN resolutions.

    Israeli occupation is not only a burden for the Palestinian people, but has a negative impact on the Israeli economy and the country's budget, he added.

    Marouf also lashed out against Israeli media, which, he said, "are deliberately ignoring us and our work."

    "Local media only show us when we are talking about problems of peace with Palestinians," he said, noting that the Arab-dominated parliament parties have managed to get through some fifty laws in other fields, including health, environment and education.

    Addressing a highly controversial draft bill seeking to define Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, Marouf stated that his bloc is "absolutely against it."

    "We know that one of the main reasons Netanyahu was forced to go to elections was the fact that he was unable to ratify the law, because we fought against it. Our fight is not over and [the law] will never be passed. We want full equality and dignity for the Arab residents of Israel, and therefore we are against a Jewish nation state," he explained.

    Marouf's communist party and its Joint List allies have for many years worked for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, he told Sputnik, and will continue their efforts after the elections.

    Early elections for the 20th Knesset, Israel's parliament, are currently taking place in the country.

    The main rivals are the Likud party, headed by current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the opposition Zionist Union, led by Isaac Herzog. The Joint List is expected to come in third.

    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)


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