Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he “regrets” warning “the Arabs are voting in droves” during last week’s elections.
He said he did not intend to offend Israeli-Arab citizens.
On the day of the election, he posted a video message on his Facebook page, saying: “Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are going to the polls in droves.”
“Left-wing organisations are bringing them in buses,” he said.
Having feared his voters would stay home, he secured a surprising win and now says he hopes to form a new governing coalition within two or three weeks.
Apologising for his comments he said: “I know the things I said a few days ago hurt some Israeli citizens.
“My actions as prime minister, including massive investment in minority sectors, prove the exact opposite.
“I think, similarly, that no element outside the state of Israel should intervene in our democratic processes.”