MK Mansour Abbas
MK Mansour AbbasAdina Walman/Knesset spokesperson

Ra'am party leader MK Mansour Abbas will reportedly announce his departure from the Joint Arab List in order to form a new political party.

Abbas' move followed internal polls he conducted showing that an independent party under his leadership would win six Knesset seats, while the Joint List would fall to just five seats.

The Joint List, made up of the Arab parties of Hadash, Ra’am, Ta’al and Balad, has run together in three election campaigns over the last five years and recently achieved a record of 15 seats.

The Arab public has supported the unity between the four Arab parties and has expressed this at the ballot box.

Abbas has recently shown a willingness to work with Prime Minister Netanyahu on issues which affect Israel's Arab citizens,

Last year, Abbas said that if Netanyahu publicly declares that the Arab public is legitimate, "there is something to talk about," as he put it.

More recently, Abbas acknowledged that “there is no real alternative to Netanyahu, and he's still going to be leading the country after the next elections. In the last seven elections, we tried to replace him, and we didn't get anywhere."