Sami Abou Shahadeh
Sami Abou ShahadehMiriam Alster/Flash 90

MK Sami Abou Shahadeh, chairman of the Joint Arab List's Balad faction, has announced that his party still intends to run independently from the rest of the Joint Arab List, but that he is still holding negotiations with the party's other factions.

"A decision has been made to continue leading a third movement," Abou Shahadeh told Kan 11. "We are open to another scenario in these elections. We want that this time the coalition will agree on clear political principles. We are continuing negotiations with Ta'al and Hadash as well."

Balad, Ta'al, Hadash, and Ra'am (the United Arab List) at one point ran together as the Joint Arab List. At one point, Ra'am split from the other three parties to run independently. In 2021, it became part of Israel's coalition.

Abou Shahadeh added, "In the Joint Arab List, we created expectations for our public, that there is a political partner, and the public discovered that there is not. We in Balad have said from the beginning that there isn't - so we will return to the public and tell it the truth. We wish there were a partner who is interested in ending the occupation and canceling the racist laws."

Earlier on Saturday, MK Osama Saadi, from the Joint Arab List's Ta'al faction, announced that he will not run for the next Knesset. Sources in the Joint Arab List told Kan News that Saadi reached the understanding that he may be pushed into an unrealistic spot in the upcoming elections, and decided to act before that happened.

Saadi is considered the right-hand man of MK Ahmad Tibi, who chairs Ta'al. Speaking to those close to him, Saadi said that he felt "done" and expressed anger at the battles within the Joint Arab List.