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Israel’s Muslim party split on toeing coalition line

Muslim Ra’am party leader Mansour Abbas is committed to supporting the coalition, but he's not sure his party members will follow him.
Mansour Abbas, head of Israel's conservative Islamic Raam party.

The past few days were difficult, and not just for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with Yamina legislators rebelling against him, but also for Mansour Abbas, head of the Muslim Ra’am party. He too had to cope with a legislator refusing to toe the line with the policies of the government. To a large extent, the difficulties of Bennett and Abbas are intertwined and feed on each other.

The coalition had lost its narrow majority last April when Yamina Knesset member Idit Silman decided to join the opposition. Shortly after that, Bennett was forced to oust Yamina renegade Knesset member Amichai Shikli. Still, Bennett’s problems were far from over. In a surprise move last month, Meretz Knesset member Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi announced she was also quitting the coalition. After much negotiation, she decided to come back but did not promise to support government bills.

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