Members of the Joint List coalition endorsed Benny Gantz for prime minister in bid to stop Netanyahu [Menachen Kahana/Reuters]

Israel‘s main Arab political parties endorsed ex-military chief Benny Gantz for prime minister, breaking a nearly 27-year-long standard of not endorsing a candidate in the hope of ousting Benjamin Netanyahu.  

The leader of the so-called Joint List, Ayman Odeh, said on Sunday the alliance’s decision was not an endorsement of Gantz’s policies or the man himself. 

Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party won the most seats in the September 17 election with 33 out of parliament’s 120 seats, while Netanyahu’s Likud finished second with 31. Meanwhile, the Joint List coalition won 13 seats, making it the third largest grouping.

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Sixty-one seats are needed

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