Islamic party threatens to leave coalition after clashes — RT EN

18 Apr 2022 7:00 p.m

The Islamic party Ra’am, which is part of the government, voiced its sharp criticism after the weekend clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Meanwhile, several regional states protested Israel’s actions.

Israel’s Ra’am Islamic Party said Sunday it was discussing quitting the coalition government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to protest Israeli police crackdowns at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. As a first step, the party executive decided to “freeze” the party’s activities in the coalition and in the Israeli parliament. An advisory committee made up of religious scholars recommended this step to the party leadership on Thursday.

Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas told Israeli-Arab radio station A-Shams that his party, which has four seats in parliament, was considering leaving. The deputies protested against the police actions on the premises of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, during which hundreds of Palestinians were injured and arrested in the past three days. Bennett’s coalition has a total of 60 seats out of the 120 seats in the Israeli parliament

Abbas explained:

“The Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line for us, also at the expense of the stability of the coalition.”

The party leader added that there was no room for political flexibility for Ra’am on the Al-Aqsa Mosque issue.

In a letter to Bennett, Mazen Ghnaim, a member of the Ra’am party, said that “unless the activities of the security forces in the blessed al-Aqsa mosque are stopped immediately,” he will “not consider himself part of the coalition.”

The comments sparked further tensions within the coalition that replaced the cabinet of Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2021.

Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai told Kan Bet Radio that “forces should not compromise the safety of Jewish visitors to the holy site just to maintain the coalition at all costs.”

On Sunday evening, the Ra’am party executive discussed the issue of leaving the coalition. After the conclusion of the meeting, Ra’am announced that the party would cease its political activities in the coalition and in parliament. The practical consequences of this step initially remained unclear, since the Knesset will not meet until the beginning of May. Citing government sources, Israeli media reported that the move was intended as a concession to the party’s grass roots and came after consultation with the leaders of the other main coalition parties, Bennett and Secretary of State Yair Lapid. After a period of about two weeks, the Ra’am party executive will decide to resume political activities.

Bennett’s coalition lost its majority a week and a half ago after a lawmaker from Bennett’s right-wing Yamina party left the organization and joined Netanyahu, Bennett’s main political rival, and his Likud party.

The move, less than a year after the new government took office, shook the coalition. The coalition now governs with just 60 seats in the 120-seat parliament.

If Ra’am leaves the coalition, it could trigger a new round of elections.

Meanwhile, a number of Islamic and Arab states have condemned Israel’s actions in the face of recent confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in which hundreds of Palestinians were wounded. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Twitter on Sunday that during a conversation with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, he had strongly condemned the alleged Israeli “intervention against worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque”. Turkey always stands by Palestine’s side, the Turkish head of state affirmed.

The Sudanese Foreign Ministry also condemned the Israeli security forces’ operation on the Temple Mount. Khartoum called on the international community to hold Israel “fully responsible for the aftermath of such crimes and violations against the defenseless Palestinian people, their lands and their holy places.” In addition, Sudan called on the Israeli government to refrain from similar operations on the Temple Mount in the future and not to change the ethnic composition of Jerusalem.

Jordan said Israel bears full responsibility for the “serious aftermath” of heightened tensions on the Temple Mount. Israel’s alleged attempts to alter the historical and legal status quo of Al-Aqsa Mosque would constitute a dangerous breach of international law and undermine any attempts at a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict.

More on the subject – After attacks in Israel, the situation continues to escalate: Israeli raid on the West Bank

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