Middle East

Israeli Knesset member quits ruling coalition

After Arab lawmaker's withdrawal, Premier's Naftali Bennett's government in danger with 59 members in 120-seat Knesset

Yousef Ibrahim   | 19.05.2022
Israeli Knesset member quits ruling coalition

ISTANBUL 

A member of the Knesset (Israel's parliament) announced her withdrawal from the ruling coalition government, Israeli media reported on Thursday.

The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation network (KAN) quoted Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, an Arab lawmaker from the leftist Meretz Party, as saying she will not "support a coalition that is disgracefully harassing the society I come from."

Zoabi cited the government's hard position on Arab issues, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem, the demolition of Arabs’ homes, lands confiscation in the Negev area, southern Israel, and the Israeli controversial citizenship law, as reasons behind her decision.

The Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper said Zoabi's decision was a surprise for all, as she did not even inform her party of her resignation.

The move puts Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's coalition on the brink of collapse where the coalition now has 59 members in the 120-seat Knesset.

The coalition was formed of 61 Knesset members, comprising eight Israeli parties, in June 2021.

Zoabi's withdrawal is the second since lawmaker Idit Silman from the right-wing Yamina Party quit the coalition in April.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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