Mansour Abbas
Mansour Abbas Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Ra'am chairman Mansour Abbas on Tuesday continued his battle with the Likud party and hinted that he has materials that could embarrass its members.

"We have nothing criminal against them. Until now I have refrained from detailing what happened in the political talks with Netanyahu which went on for two years. I only started talking yesterday. The story began in April 2019 - we negotiated about the possibility of forming a Likud-led government with a majority of 60 MKs. We sat in Kfar Qassem, we talked, we had conversations, we outlined things. We were offered a coalition partnership," Abbas said in an interview with Channel 12 News.

He continued, "The Prime Minister read to me the speech in which he wanted to inform the citizens that there is a partnership between the Likud and Ra'am. I suggest to the Likud – just admit that these things happened, and you were wrong and we do not deserve to be partners, but why lie?"

Abbas added that his party is determined to help pass the budget. "We confirmed our position, we were partners in forming a government in order to pass a budget so that we can enjoy it as an Arab and Israeli society."

In the interview, he also commented on the investigative report published by Ayala Hasson on Channel 13 News, which found that a senior member of his party, Razi Issa, attended a conference in Gaza together with Razi Hamed, a senior Hamas official. "I understand the inconvenience in the publishing of this picture and I am trying to provide answers on this issue. The money that came to this organization is from legal donations. We invite law enforcement to check us. There was not and will not be any government money flowing to the organization. We will not transfer money we received from the government to an organization that helps Hamas."

"This did not bother the Likud when we were their partners a few months ago. We are not in a banana republic - there is rule of law, there are law enforcement agencies and there are security organizations that oversee everything. We have been operating under the law for 25 years under Netanyahu's rule. What suddenly happened on the week in which the budget is approved? This is a political manipulation to thwart the approval of the budget."

The Likud responded to the remarks and said, "We never agreed to repeal the Kaminitz law and of course we will never agree to transfer millions to Hamas through Ra'am for the widows and orphans of terrorists as Bennett, Shaked and Lapid do today."

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