Netanyahu predicts Arabs will win 15 seats in Knesset

JERUSALEM 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned his supporters that the Arab Joint List would win 15 seats in Tuesday’s parliamentary elections.

According to the Israeli media, a Likud spokesperson published details from a meeting hosted by Netanyahu at his residence Tuesday warning the Arab list could warn more seats than expected in the polls.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu expects the Joint Arab List to win 15 Knesset seats,” the spokesperson said.

Hadash-Taa’al alliance and United Arab List-Balad, which formed the Arab Joint List, had won 10 seats in total in previous polls.

The Arab Joint List group announced on Tuesday that voting rates had increased slightly in Arab localities relative to elections this April.

It added, however, that there was a big difference in the overall turnout compared to the 2015 ballot.

According to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) Central Elections Committee, voter turnout as of 5 p.m. stands at 44.3%, up 1.5% from April.

Israel is holding its second general elections this year, due to Netanyahu’s failure to form a government after the previous poll. Observers expect there may be a third round of elections if the crisis over forming a government continues.

The committee said in a statement that more than 6.3 million people were eligible to vote at 10,915 polling stations across Israel which are set to close at 10:00 p.m. (1900GMT) on Tuesday.

Thirty-two electoral lists are competing for 120 seats in the Knesset. Observers and opinion polling centers expect only 10 of those lists to win the parliamentary race.

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