The Islamist Ra’am party is set to join a new Israeli government under a deal reached by Israel’s opposition parties to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening, potentially confounding anti-Israel critics.
Mansour Abbas led his party to win four seats in Israel’s 120-member Knesset in elections earlier this year, despite low overall turnout among Arab voters. Roughly 20 percent of Israel’s population is Arab, the majority of which is Muslim.
Ra’am is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, though it is considered less radical. According to the Times of Israel, Abbas secured $16.3 billion in funding for new development programs in Israel’s Arab community in exchange for supporting the opposition’s effort to oust Netanyahu. The Israeli government will also recognize three previously unrecognized Bedouin Arab villages in the Negev desert, and consider lifting restrictions on some illegal construction in Arab villages.
Cooperation between Ra’am and the