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August 25, 2016 11:41 am

Report: Trump Campaign to Open Office in West Bank to Court Absentee Voters

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The Israeli branch of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign plans to open an office in the West Bank to court absentee voters, the Hebrew news site nrg reported on Thursday.

According to the report, an estimated 60,000 US citizens live in Jewish communities in the Judea and Samaria regions — comprising around 15% of the entire Jewish population of the area. The report did not specify in which community the office would be located.

The report also said that a Trump campaign office was opened in Ramat Gan’s Diamond Exchange District on Wednesday. The office was reported to be the largest the Trump campaign has established in Israel thus far. Other offices have been opened in Jerusalem and Modi’in.

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Earlier this month, Marc Zell, the head of Republicans Overseas Israel, told The Associated Press that around 100,000 US citizens in Israel — out of a potential 300,000-400,000 — voted in the 2012 presidential elections, with 85% supporting Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Zell expressed hope that more would vote this time around.

“We want to convince them, through our campaign, that it is important for them to vote, that they are doing a service for Israel, kind of like doing (military) reserve duty from their own home by voting for the Republican candidate who’s really got Israel’s interest at heart,” Zell told The Associated Press.

While past voting behavior indicates that a majority of US citizens in Israel will back Trump, the picture is different among the Israeli population as a whole. As reported by The Algemeiner, a poll conducted by Israel’s Channel 2 in June found that, if given the chance to vote, 42% of Israelis would cast their ballots for Clinton, while 35% would support Trump. However, Trump did narrowly edge out Clinton — 37%-36% — on the question of which candidate would be better for Israel.

Dual Israeli-US citizens are eligible to cast absentee ballots for the American presidential elections, which will be held on Tuesday, November 8.

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