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Arab League calls on Israeli Arabs to vote

Jan. 21, 2013 at 5:48 AM   |   Comments

CAIRO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The Arab League called on Israel's Arab sector to vote in Tuesday's Israeli elections to prevent the radical right from getting stronger in Parliament.

"According to the public opinion polls that have been conducted in Israel, the radical right is expected to maintain a majority. The radical right consists of right-wing groups that do not want peace ... they regard Israeli Arabs as a threat to the country," an Arab League Palestinian Division statement said Sunday.

An unnamed senior Arab League official told the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz the statement was issued as a warning to Israeli Arabs of the consequences if they remain indifferent and fail to vote.

"We are closely monitoring the situation. We are monitoring the daily demolition of [Palestinian] houses in the Negev, the growing racism and the laws that the members of Knesset are trying to pass, and which represent a serious threat to the civil rights of Israeli Arabs," the league official said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu constantly talks of continuing settlement construction and of undermining the position of Arabs living in Israel, the official said.

"If the Arabs in Israel utilize the opportunity they have to vote in the country's elections, they can have an influence on the composition of the next Knesset," he said.

The Palestinian Authority's official news agency, WAFA, warned that if Netanyahu is re-elected chances of peace in the region will be eliminated, Ynetnews.com reported.

Arab Israeli voter turnout has decreased in recent years, the website said.

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