Arab Joint List claims 14 Knesset seats
Israeli Arabs politicians hold banners reading, 'Go to vote for the joint list, for a new tomorrow on March 17', at a Nazareth rally. (AFP/File)
As voting centers in Israel closed at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, the Arab Joint List picked up 14 seats in the Israeli parliament, according to Israeli news sources.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party won with a significant lead over the Zionist Union Party, claiming 30 Knesset seats.
The 14 seats gained by the Arab Joint List in the 120-seat Knesset will give Palestinian citizens greater representation than past elections.
Palestinian citizens of Israel, who account for just over 20 percent of the population, are treated as second class citizens of Israel and have not historically been proportionally represented in the Knesset.
The Arab Joint List, an alliance formed by four Arab parties -- United Arab List, Ta'al, Balad and Hadash -- was the first time parties representing Palestinian citizens in Israel have joined forces.
The 20th Knesset elections have had the highest voter turnout so far since 1999 elections, according to Israeli news sources.
Editors note: This article has been edited from the source material