Israel’s eight-party government was hanging by a thread, and now a lawmaker from the liberal left Meretz party is said to have withdrawn from the coalition. Israeli media reported on Sunday that she made the decision after discussions with Chancellor Jair Lapid and representatives of the Arab sector. This means that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government has regained 60 of the 120 seats in parliament. That makes it harder for the opposition, led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to overthrow the government.
MP Ghaida Rinawi Suabi announced her departure from the coalition on Thursday. She justified her step, among other things, with the actions of Israeli police in the most recent clashes at the Temple Mount (Al-Haram Al-Sharif) in Jerusalem. She was also shocked by police violence at the funeral of a reporter who was killed in Jerusalem on Friday, she wrote in her resignation letter.
Bennett’s eight-party coalition lost its majority in the Knesset last month after a member of the ruling Jamina party resigned. The coalition survived two votes of no confidence.
Bennett’s government took office in mid-June last year. Israel’s long-term political crisis, with four elections in two years, is over for now. The coalition is supported by a total of eight parties from right to left – including for the first time an Arab party.