Saturday, November 26, 2022

Israeli MP resigns, government is now in minority

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By Rob Pichetta, Karim Khaddar and Amir Tal | Nation World News

Israel’s fragile government lost its parliamentary majority on Thursday after an Arab-Israeli lawmaker resigned from the ruling coalition, accusing its leaders of escalating tensions between Israel and Palestinians and police at the funeral of slain journalist Shirin Abu Aqleh. of condemning the violent interference of

Gaida Rinavi Zobi, a legislator from the left-wing Meretz party, said she opposed the right-wing change of government and accused it of “outrageously oppressing the society I come from.”

His resignation means Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has the support of just 59 of the Knesset’s 120 members and now leads a minority government – potentially leading to another round of elections in the country after years of political instability. points to.

“In recent months, coalition leaders from narrow political views have chosen to preserve and strengthen their right-wing side,” Rinawi Zobi wrote in his unexpected resignation letter on Thursday. “Last month, the month of Ramadan has been unbearably difficult,” he said.

“The scenes of violent policemen confronting hordes of worshipers from Temple Mount and the funeral pyre of Palestinian journalist Shirin Abu Aqleh only led me to one valuable conclusion: no more,” Rinawi Zoabi wrote. “I cannot continue to support the existence of a coalition that disrespects the society I come from.”

The Temple Mount is the holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem known in Arabic as Haram al-Sharif or the Noble Sanctuary, which houses the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Television footage of the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Aqleh showed officers mourning with batons, forcibly lowering Palestinian flags, and arresting persons carrying his coffin through the streets of Jerusalem. Abu Akleh was shot in the head in the West Bank as he covered an Israeli military raid; The exact circumstances of his murder are unclear.

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“I believe and continue to believe in Arab-Jewish coexistence with every part of my being in academia, business and politics,” Rinawi Zobi wrote in his letter. “I also believe and continue to believe that genuine Jewish-Arab partnership must come from a place of equality, with both sides facing each other.”

The resignation of Rinavi Zobi does not automatically trigger the fall of Bennett’s 11-month-old government. But opposition leaders could push for and secure a fifth parliamentary election in four years if they win the support of the Knesset, where the government is now in numbers.

Bennett took over on a rotational basis with centrist leader and current foreign minister Yair Lapid, who last year brought together a vast and fragile coalition of political parties, including Meretz. Lapid is due to swap roles with Bennett for the last two years of his four-year term, if the government survives that long.

No decision yet on Abu Akleh probe: IDF

The shocking political resignation came amid rising tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces denied an Israeli media report that there would be no IDF criminal investigation into the killing of Abu Akleh. The Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday morning that the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID) had decided against the investigation. Hours later, the IDF said no decision had been made yet.

“The decision regarding the need for the MPCID investigation will be determined by military advocacy, based on the findings of the ongoing operational investigation, as is the norm in such cases,” the IDF said in a statement.

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Under IDF policy, a criminal investigation is not automatically initiated if a death occurred during an active combat situation, unless there is a credible and immediate suspicion of a criminal offense identified during the incident.

Tony Abu Akle said that Shirin Abu Akle’s brother Tony told Nation World News that he was not surprised by reports that there would be no criminal investigation, adding that he “didn’t expect much from Israel and it was clear that They are biased.”

“On our part … we will continue to investigate and conduct a fair investigation into the murder of my sister Shireen, and we will also stress the importance that the US government must act immediately to bring those responsible and accountable to full prosecution.” law,” he said.

He argued, “Shirin is a US citizen killed abroad and the US must take immediate action to investigate this crime and the murder of a female American journalist.”

Israeli human rights group Yesh Din said on Thursday that the failure to investigate the murder would represent “not the exception, but the rule”.

“The system has repeatedly proven that it is unable and unwilling to investigate and prosecute the standards demanded by international law,” the organization’s executive director Jive Stahl said in a statement.

Releasing its analysis of 2019 and 2020 figures, the group said that a Palestinian would see only 2% of their complaints result in prosecution of a soldier. The group also said that from 2019 to 2020, 72% of complaints filed by soldiers about suspected crimes against Palestinians were closed without any criminal investigation.

Freelance journalist Lauren Izzo contributed to this report.

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