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Key Israeli Governing Partner Ra’am to Remain in Coalition

By Asharq Al-Awsat
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett attends a Knesset session in Jerusalem, Israel, 09 May 2022. (EPA)

A key Israeli governing partner said Wednesday it was remaining in the country's fragile coalition, averting another crisis for the embattled government.

Mansour Abbas, the head of the Islamist Arab Ra'am party, said he would continue his party's membership in the coalition after suspending it following tensions at a key Jerusalem holy site in recent weeks.

"Ra'am decided to give an additional opportunity to the coalition and the government in order to move the wheels of decisions and implement them in a practical manner," he told reporters in parliament, flanked by his three party members and speaking in Arabic.

Ra'am is one of eight parties that make up the country's ideologically disparate coalition, which runs the gamut from dovish factions to nationalist ones. Ra'am made history last year when it became the first party representing Arab citizens of Israel to join a coalition.

The parties were brought together over their opposition to former leader Benjamin Netanyahu and they have little else in common. While they agreed to put aside divisive issues such as Palestinian statehood to keep the coalition stable, the parties have frequently butted heads over their differences.

Weeks of Israeli-Palestinian violence, much of it fueled by tensions and fighting at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, prompted Abbas to suspend cooperation.

The government could have continued on through minority rule without Ra'am's four seats if the party had bolted. But it would have struggled to pass legislation and needed to look for support from opposition lawmakers. It also would have fractured the coalition and opened the door for other disgruntled parties to leave.

Parliament reopened this week for its summer session as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was fighting to keep his government afloat and his own party from crumbling.

Since he took office, Bennett's nationalist Yamina party has lost two members, most recently one last month, which left the coalition and opposition equally divided in the 120-seat parliament.

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Dive Deeper:
Key Israeli governing partner Ra'am to remain in coalition
A key Israeli governing partner says it is remaining in the country’s fragile coalition
Embattled Israeli Leader Vows to Keep Government Afloat
Israel's embattled prime minister on Monday vowed to continue to lead the country as his shaky government limped into the…
Israeli PM's government limps into new parliament session
The government of Israel’s embattled prime minister is limping into the opening of parliament’s summer session on the verge of…
Ra'am's Mansour Abbas to announce coalition's fate Wednesday morning
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government hangs in balance ahead of Knesset dissolution bill.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Bennett Fears Mansour Abbas Will Be Assassinated
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that the head of the Islamist Arab Ra'am party, Mansour Abbas, might be murdered.…
Israel approves 2,700 housing units in illegal West Bank settlements
Slew of approvals for construction in occupied areas comes weeks before planned visit by US president
Get all your news in one place