Death Of Journalist Increases Uncertainty Over Shaky Future Of Israeli Government

Mansour Abbas, head of the Ra'am party seen after signing the coalition agreement, at the Maccabiah village in Ramat Gan on June 02, 2021. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The death of Al-Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Aqleh during a gunfight between the IDF and Palestinian terrorists Wednesday morning has once again thrown the political situation in Israel into uncertainty.

The current government cannot muster a majority in the Knesset but may be able to block opposition attempts to disperse the Knesset, which may commence already Wedesday. In order to do this, it requires the support of four-man Ra’am, the Arab party which was part of the Bennett coalition but has recently frozen its membership in the government due to the heightened tensions on Temple Mount. The religiously-oriented party has been under intense pressure to leave the government after police entered the mosque on Temple Mount during recent unrest, sparking riots and outrage from local Muslims.

Ra’am is advised by the movement’s Shura Council. A six-hour Shura Council meeting on Tuesday night ended without an announcement on Ra’am’s path forward, which was expected to come on Wednesday morning. However the death of the journalist, which Arab sources are blaming on the IDF, has led to a deferment of the announcement.

Masoud Ghneim, a member of the Shura council and a former Ra’am MK accused the IDF of “murder”, stating in a Facebook post “shame and disgrace to the murderers! The journalist Shirin Abu Aqleh was hit after being shot by an Israel force in the Jenin camp this morning.”

Ra’am announced that it would announce the Shura Council’s decision “late in the day” on Wednesday. Eventually party leader Mansour Abbas announced Wednesday afternoon that the party was “giving the government another chance” and would vote with it for the time being. As a result of Ra’am’s decision, the Likud withdrew its no-confidence motion since it will not at present have a majority. However efforts continue to persuade other right-wing MKs to defect from the government and bring about its downfall.


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