Israel's fragile coalition government teetering on the edge

Israel's fragile coalition government teetering on the edge

Israel's fragile coalition government is teetering on the edge of collapse one year after ending the record reign of Benjamin Netanyahu after months of political turmoil, raising the possibility of a snap election in the coming months.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid pledged on Sunday to fight for the survival of their unlikely coalition of right-wing, liberal and Muslim Arab parties, despite their achievements including boosting economic growth and eliminating the budget deficit.

We're marking a year since the creation of the national salvation government. According to a statement made by Bennett at the beginning of his weekly cabinet meeting, the country's best government is one of the country's best governments, which leans on one of the most difficult coalitions the Knesset has ever known.

We will not despair and we will not break. The hawkish Bennett, 50, and 58-year-old centrist Lapid ended Netanyahu's record 12 year reign in June 2021 after the fourth election in two years.

The coalition has struggled to hold together with a razor-thin majority and deeply divided over major issues like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and analysts predict a resounding crash.

After losing the support of two members of his own right-wing Yamina alliance over the past year, Bennett found himself in control of only 60 of the 120 lawmakers of the Knesset, with another member now wobbling.

Since a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence in March, Lapid has been struggling to contain tensions in his camp with two Knesset members from Israel's Arab minority, many of whom identify with the Palestinians.

The result has been a series of defeats in key parliamentary votes, most recently on rolling over a law that ensures Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank are covered by Israeli civil law.

The measure, which is likely to be brought back, would normally enjoy broad support, and the loss underscored the fragility of the government, Bennett's own party is close to the settler movement.

According to Yoav Krakovsky, the government is passing the time for the sake of buying time, and the leader of the opposition is at present on trial for corruption, an accusation he denies. He has vowed to make a comeback despite his legal troubles, and he has vowed not to make a final verdict in the coming year.