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    Benjamin Netanyahu

    Netanyahu Apologizes for Anti-Arab Statements Made During Election Campaign

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    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for his anti-Arab statements made during election campaign last week, according to Haaretz.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Netanyahu, whose Likud party came out as election's surprise winner, last Tuesday accused the Joint List, an alliance of Israel's four Arab-dominated parties, of using illegitimate foreign funding to organize coming of Arab population to voting stations "in droves."

    "I know the things I said a few days ago hurt some Israeli citizens," Netanyahu said on Monday during a meeting with representatives of Israel's minority groups.

    Netanyahu stressed that he sees himself as the prime minister of all Israeli citizens without differentiation between religions, races and sex.

    "I see in all Israeli citizens partners in building the State of Israel, one that is thriving and safe for all Israeli citizens," the prime minister added.

    However, Netanyahu pointed out that no element outside the state of Israel should intervene in internal democratic processes.

    On Thursday, Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of using anti-Arab sentiment to influence the results of recent elections.

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

    Netanyahu's Likud party claimed 30 seats in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, but he needed a majority of at least 61 lawmakers to support him before forming a new coalition government.

    Four other, smaller parties also gave their backing to Netanyahu, who is expected to be officially appointed by the President on Wednesday.

    The biggest opposition party, the Zionist Union, recommended their leader Isaac Herzog, but the 24 seats the party had won in the election were not enough.

    The Joint List and Yesh Atid, two other opposition parties in the Knesset, did not nominate a candidate.


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