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Left-Wing Israeli Lawmaker Resigns From Coalition, Leaving It a Minority Government

Israeli lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, from the left-wing Meretz party, has resigned from Israel’s ruling government coalition. The coalition now has the support of only a minority of Knesset members, leaving its future uncertain. Zoabi, an Arab Israeli, wrote in her resignation letter submitted to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Thursday afternoon that she “cannot support a coalition that is disgracefully harassing the society I come from.” She said of the diverse government that she was a part of that: “Again and again, the heads of the coalition preferred to take harsh hawkish right-wing steps on key issues related to Arab society.” Among those issues, she said, are the Al Aqsa compound/Temple Mount, the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, new settlement construction, the Citizenship Law and house demolitions. Zoabi, who did not inform the party’s leadership nor the leadership of the coalition, has been appointed to serve as Israel’s next consul general in Shanghai. Former coalition whip and Yamina partly lawmaker Idit Silman resigned from the coalition six weeks ago. The opposition now has 61 seats in the 120-seat parliament. New elections could come as early as mid-September