by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Israel’s Likud party led by former PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday withdrew a bill to dissolve the Knesset after Ra’am leader Mansour Abbas said his Islamist independent Arab party will remain in the governing coalition, the Times of Israel (TOI) reports.
The support of the Ra’am party gives Prime Minister Naftali Bennet’s coalition the bare-minimum 60 Knesset seats needed to continue governing.
Mansour Abbas’ supporters have been disgruntled that promises he made to improve the lives of Arab Israelis through the unprecedented step of an Arab party joining the government have failed to materialize, TOI said.
Ra’am has been divided on whether to give Abbas more time or whether to return to being an opposition party, as advocated by the Joint List Arab party.
“We’ve come to a conclusion that Ra’am, with the Shura Council and the Islamic Movement, will give a chance to coming back and fulfilling our obligations to the coalition agreement,” Abbas told a press conference Wednesday, after an extended meeting with the Islamic Movement’s Shura Council which advises the Ra’am party.
“We in Ra’am think it’s a mistake to go to an election cycle that will bring back Netanyahu and reverse all of the issues we’ve been working on,” Abbas added.
Had Ra’am pulled out of the coalition, the Likud would have introduced a bill to dissolve the Knesset and trigger the fifth general election in three years. Had the measure failed, the Likud would have had to wait another six months before it could introduce such a bill again.