The Ra’am party issues a clarification after party leader MK Mansour Abbas became the first Arab leader in Israel’s history to publicly call on armed Palestinian factions to demilitarize and work with the Palestinian Authority in order to establish a Palestinian state through non-violent means.
“In order to move forward, the Palestinian militant groups need to throw down their arms. They need to work hand in hand with the Palestinian Authority in order to realize a national movement that will aspire for a state of Palestine in a peaceful solution alongside the state of Israel,” Abbas told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in a rare interview with international media released Thursday.
Abbas, whose Islamist Ra’am party was the first independent Arab-majority faction to join an Israeli coalition — the 2021-2022 Naftali Bennett-Yair Lapid government — began the interview by reiterating his condemnation of the October 7 massacres.
However, on Saturday, the party clarifies that “the intention of MK Mansour Abbas in his CNN interview was that the Palestinian state that will be established will be the body to disarm the factions as part of its establishing its rule.”
Israel’s Channel 12 says the statement comes after his remarks sparked widespread anger in Palestinian and Arab circles.