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Israeli lawmaker retracts decision to quit coalition

After meeting with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Regional Development Minister Esawi Frej and others, Knesset member Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi has decided not to quit the coalition after all.

Knesset member Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi of the Meretz Party said yesterday she will support the government despite her May 19 announcement that she was quitting the coalition. Thus the Bennett-Lapid government has survived another coalition crisis. Rinawie Zoabi reportedly changed her mind following a long meeting at the Finance Ministry with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Minister in the Finance Ministry Hamad Amar of the Yisrael Beitenu Party, Minister for Regional Cooperation Esawi Frej of Meretz and several Arab heads of local authorities.

At the meeting, Ronawie Zoabi said, "I come from Arab local government, where I grew up politically. Now I am in the Knesset in order to benefit the Arab community. … I am aware and understand that the alternative to this government is that the next police minister will be [far-right Knesset member Itamar] Ben Gvir and I want to prevent that alternative. … I will support the coalition. But I want the government to be genuine and attentive to the Arab community and its needs in health, education, housing and infrastructure."

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