Levin negotiating with Arab party leader for support over judicial reform – report

Is the Likud minister in collaboration talks with Mansour Abbas? Both deny it.

By World Israel News Staff

Justice Minister Yariv Levin has been involved in talks with Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra’am party, with the aim of recruiting him to support the judicial reforms, Hebrew-language Channel 12 reported Thursday.

As a gesture, this week the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a Ra’am bill to establish a hospital in the northern Arab-Israeli city of Sakhnin, the report said.

However, according to the report, Abbas told Levin that in no uncertain terms that he refuses to continue “under-the-table’ negotiations and will demand budgets for dealing with violence in the Arab communities as well as an end to what he described as the delegitimization of Arab society – aside from significant influence on the reforms.

Levin’s office and the Ra’am party have both denied the allegations.

Ahead of the 2021 national election, Ra’am joined then-prime minister Naftali Bennett’s diverse government that ranged from his right-wing Yamina to the ultra-left Meretz and Abbas’s party. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied reports that he, too, had tried luring the Islamist party leader into joining a Likud-led coaltion.