Middle East

Israel’s ruling coalition becomes minority after Arab lawmaker resigns 

Israeli ruling coalition became a minority in the country’s Knesset yesterday after an Arab lawmaker resigned.

Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, an Israeli-Arab with the liberal Meretz Party, handed her resignation to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, leaving his party with only 59 seats out of a 120-seat parliament.

Zoabi described Bennett’s cabinet as a “failed government”, adding that it had “lost its right to exist.” She pointed out that a law to dissolve the Knesset would be presented “next Wednesday.”

Condemning the coalition’s moves towards the right, Zoabi said in a letter addressed to coalition leaders Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid: “Unfortunately, in recent months, out of narrow political considerations, the leaders of the coalition have chosen to preserve and strengthen its right-wing flank.”

Her departure comes just six weeks after former coalition whip and Yamina MK Idit Silman resigned from the coalition.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led opposition last week abandoned calls to advance a bill to dissolve the Knesset and hold new elections, but said yesterday it would back the call. If the coalition government is dissolved, Israel will head towards its fifth election in three years.

READ: After one year in power, Israel gov’t may be forced out

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