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    Zionist Union party co=leader Isaac Hercog arrives at the party's election headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel

    Netanyahu's Anti-Arab Fear Mongering Won Election Claim Israeli Opposition

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    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)
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    Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog said that the votes for Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud party came out as surprise winners, rose in response to the warnings about Arab voters heading to the polls.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using anti-Arab sentiment to influence the results of Tuesday's elections, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

    The incumbent Prime Minister, whose Likud party came out as surprise winners, urged the voters via Facebook on Tuesday evening to support his right-wing government because Israeli Arabs were going "en masse to the polls."

    "The votes for Netanyahu rose late in the day in response to the warnings about Arab voters heading to the polls," Herzog said in a radio interview, according to the Jerusalem Post.

    Exit polls had predicted a tight race between the ruling Likud party and Herzog's Zionist Union, but the latest vote counts suggest the parties have secured 30 and 24 seats in the new parliament respectively.

    "The results here are not just a victory for Netanyahu, they are actually a victory for hate and fear," Zionist Union's co-leader Tzipi Livni was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post.

    Prior to the vote, Netanyahu said, in response to consistent polling showing his party would lose seats, that he would oppose the creation of a Palestinian state if reelected. The center-left Zionist Union, in turn, promised to seek an agreement with the Palestinians.

    The Joint List alliance of four Arab-dominated parties came in third in the elections with 13 seats following an unusually high turnout by Arab voters.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu must put together a coalition of 61 lawmakers to have a majority in the 120-seat parliament, called the Knesset, before forming a new government.

    More than 4 million Israelis, or 71.8 percent of eligible voters, cast their ballots on Tuesday, making it the highest turnout since 1999.

    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)


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