Jerusalem24 – Leaders of the Israeli government coalition expect the United Arab List to resume its participation next Monday after the Islamist party suspended its role in the government citing Israeli policies on the occupied city of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Head of the United Arab List Mansour Abbas met with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, following which Lapid and Bennett feel that Abbas is ready to walk back on the mostly symbolic gesture to suspend working with the government coalition, according to officials.
The United Arab List had announced it was suspending its membership in the coalition while the Knesset was in recess.
As tensions in the Al-Aqsa Mosque escalated throughout Ramadan, the Islamic movement’s Shura Council, a group of religious leaders advising the United Arab List, advised the party on suspending their voting in the Knesset.
Party sources say the United Arab List may initially only support some government-backed bills and help to block opposition-sponsored legislation, rather than join the Bennett-Lapid coalition on all votes.
The party doesn’t intend to bring down the government, the sources said.
The demands mostly involve allocating resources to the Arab community as part of the five-year plan, as well as recognition of Bedouin communities in the Negev. Abbas told Bennett that some of the actions needed to advance the recognition of the Bedouin towns are being held up in the Interior and Housing Ministries headed by ministers Ayelet Shaked and Zeev Elkin respectively. Bennett is expected to speak with Shaked to move the process along, said political sources.
In spite of Abbas’ desire for the United Arab List to remain in the government, it is not yet clear how the rest of his party’s lawmakers will act, specifically Mazen Ghanayim. Ghanayim called for members of his party to leave the coalition, as opposed to just freezing their membership of it, during last month’s clashes In Al-Aqsa.