Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alonYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

The chairman of the Telem party, MK Moshe “Bogie” Ya'alon, decided on Sunday night to cancel the candidacy of Attorney Ayman Abu Raya on the Telem slate for the elections for the 24th Knesset.

Abu Raya was removed from the slate after it was reported in the media that he was under a criminal investigation and that his case has not yet been closed.

“The values ​​of Telem, and above all setting a personal example, bind us first and foremost. We must live up to our principles," said Ya'alon in announcing his decision to terminate Abu Raya’s candidacy.

Earlier on Sunday, Ya’alon announced that the Telem party will run on its own in this year’s Knesset election, splitting off from the Yesh Atid party it was hitherto allied with.

“The State of Israel is in its worst leadership crisis ever,” Ya’alon said. “Our Prime Minister has a conflict of interest with the State of Israel. He prevented us from passing a state budget, and he has prevented senior officials from being appointed.”

“Netanyahu has taken our interests hostage,” Ya’alon continued, before unveiling Telem’s candidate list for the election.

Telem, the smallest of the three factions which united on the joint Blue and White ticket in the three previous elections, included two center-right candidates prominently in its previous Knesset slates: Zvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel, who broke away last year to form the Derech Eretz party, before joining Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope faction in December.