Incumbents grab top spots on Meretz list
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Incumbents grab top spots on Meretz list

Arab Israeli Issawi Freij takes fifth position, with party expected to garner 5-6 seats in next Knesset

Meretz MK Ilan Gilon, left, speaks with fellow party member Nitzan Horowitz in the Knesset last November (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Meretz MK Ilan Gilon, left, speaks with fellow party member Nitzan Horowitz in the Knesset last November (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The left-wing Meretz party chose their party list for the upcoming Knesset elections on Sunday, nominating incumbent MK Ilan Gilon in second position behind party chief Zahava Gal-on, and MK Nitzan Horowitz in third position.

Fourth place on the party list went to activist Michal Rozin. And providing perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening, Arab Israeli Issawi Freij, an accountant, took the fifth spot.

Freij, 49, is a father of six from the Arab Israeli city of Kfar Kassem, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) northeast of Tel Aviv. His grandfather was killed in a massacre that took place in the city in the 1950s, according to Maariv.

Freij beat out two former MKs, Avshalom Vilan and Mossi Raz, for the fifth slot. They took seventh and eight place on the list, respectively. Tel Aviv council member Tamar Zandberg grabbed the sixth slot.

Some 1,000 Meretz Central Committee members convened on Sunday afternoon in Tel Aviv to select their candidates for the January Knesset elections. Seventeen candidates were vying for a place on the list, with the latest polls giving the party an estimated five or six seats in the next Knesset. Meretz currently has three seats.

Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-on was guaranteed the top spot. Party rules stipulate that half the final candidates must be women.

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