Israeli Arab Party stays in ruling coalition

Israeli Arab Party stays in ruling coalition

Mansour Abbas, the leader of Israel's Arab political party Ra'am, speaks as a Knesset deputy speaker during a plenum session on the state budget on September 2, 2021. AHMAD GHARABLI AFP JERUSALEM - The Arab party in Israel's governing coalition said on Wednesday it would stay in the coalition, preventing another crisis for the embattled government.

Mansour Abbas, leader of Israel's Arab political party Ra'am, said his party would stop asking to freeze its membership in the coalition led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a demand he previously made in protest against the police actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque in recent weeks.

Abbas told reporters in the parliament that we decided to give an additional opportunity to the coalition and government.

He said that we reached understandings for the betterment of the Arab society and Israelis in general.

Ra'am is one of the eight parties that make up the cross-partisan coalition, which includes pro-settler and liberal parties. The parties have little in common but they are united to oust former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a criminal trial over corruption charges.

With the formation of the current coalition in June 2021, Ra'am became the first Arab political party to be included in a ruling coalition in Israel.

READ MORE: Limits of Israel-Arab partnerships tested as violence flares.

If Ra'am pulls out of Bennett's coalition, which has only 60 seats now, the coalition will be in the minority and in dange of dissolution, as it may struggle to fend off no-confidence votes.