Leftist parties form an alliance to challenge Netanyahu .. and a blessing that declares consensus on the joint Arab list

Two left-wing Israeli parties, Meretz and the Democratic Israel Party headed by former prime minister Ehud Barak, formed a new left-wing bloc to run for the Knesset elections on September 17.

According to a party statement called "Democratic Camp", the new coalition list will be headed by Meretz Party chairman Nitzan Horowitz and Labor Party leader Staf Schaffer in second place.

The move comes after weeks of speculation and protracted negotiations between left-wing leaders.

Mohammed Barakeh, chairman of the Arab follow-up committee, said that a joint list was agreed upon to run for the Knesset elections scheduled for next September.

Barakeh said in a speech at Bethlehem University yesterday that several obstacles had been removed from the list, which he considered "a symbol of the unity of our people at home and the Diaspora, and what remains are procedural matters." He is expected to announce this in the coming hours.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a tough challenge from political opponents who seek to overthrow him in September. Barak, who served as prime minister in 1999-2001, announced last month that he would compete with Netanyahu for the premiership.

Netanyahu won a fifth term earlier this year, but called for fresh elections after failing to form a government.


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