The fragility of the Israeli government is exposed as violence escalates

Since its inception, the coalition government has had a razor-thin edge, consisting of a historically different formation of political parties from the far left to the right wing, including the first Arab party to be an active member of a ruling coalition.

Due to that diverse composition, the government said at the outset that it had no intention of addressing the more controversial issues in Israeli politics. But the escalations of the past few weeks have brought these issues to the fore.

His one-seat majority in Parliament was lost earlier this month when Idit Silman, a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s party, defected. The move caused political shocks across Israel, but it didn’t necessarily mean the current government would collapse, especially since the opposition, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, doesn’t have the numbers for a majority itself.

But it could change. In recent days, during the commemorations of Passover and Ramadan, Israeli police said they arrested more than 300 people at the al-Aqsa mosque complex, where police say people throwing stones and throwing fires artifice were jeopardizing the safe cult. The Palestinian Red Crescent said dozens of people were injured by rubber bullets, stun grenades and police batons. The presence of Israeli police inside the mosque itself has become a sticking point, as it is seen as offensive to Muslims and strains a decades-old “status quo” agreement on the site. In response, the United Arab List party, also known by its acronym Ra’am, suspended its membership of the coalition to protest against what it claimed was Israeli police violence in the holy site, sacred to both Jews and Jews. for Muslims.

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“If the government continues its steps against Al-Quds and its people, Al-Aqsa, its faithful and its shrines in this holy month, we will collectively resign and invite all parties to cooperate and support this decision,” party members said in a statement.

For the moment, the action has no immediate consequences: the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, is on hiatus for a few more weeks and when it returns, the party may decide to sit down with the coalition again.

But if even one member of the UAL party deviates from the coalition, Netanyahu could potentially have the numbers in hand to call for a vote to dissolve parliament and trigger new elections, giving him a path back to power.

Never before in Israeli history has the fate of a government been in the hands of a non-Jewish Arab party. Without the support of UAL, the coalition he would never take power. And even before joining the government, party leader Mansour Abbas said that while he is a proud member of the government aiming to improve the lives of about 20% of the Israeli population who identify as Arabs, he has his own. ” red lines “- although it is not clear where exactly those lines are.

“I have said and continue to say that the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque is a red line where there is no compromise,” Abbas wrote in a Facebook post last week. “This is what I conveyed today in my conversation with the officials I communicated with and explained my position to them.”

Aside from Abbas’ vaunted influence in the ruling coalition, there are other officials whose influence could moderate the Israeli police response. also. Israeli Minister of Public Security Omer Bar Lev is a member of the left-wing Labor Party. And Defense Minister Benny Gantz pushed forward by increasing the number of work permits, believing that giving Palestinians more economic opportunities will bring more calm.

In Jerusalem, Israeli officials believe they have shown restraint in police tactics against Palestinians around the mosque and the Old City. Israeli media reports that the police were more reserved in their responses during the riots than in previous incidents and did not use the kind of tactic that ignited tensions during Ramadan last year, such as preventing people from gathering in the square. Damascus Gate.

Israeli officials pointed out that even after the worst of the clashes on Friday, more than 50,000 Muslim worshipers have peacefully witnessed the prayer overall, although at various times since then Muslim worshipers have been blocked by Al Aqsa while police accompanied Jewish groups and foreign tourists on scheduled visits.

The complex is often a tipping point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is located in East Jerusalem, which most of the international community considers under Israeli occupation since 1967. Israel challenges it and claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

This Ramadan, Israeli restrictions on the movement of Palestinians between the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem have not been as stringent as before for those with Israeli-issued permits.

At the same time, however, Israel has launched raids across the West Bank in response to Palestinian attacks, and 14 Palestinians have died since the end of March in clashes with Israeli security forces or were killed by Israeli soldiers on suspicion of launching Molotov cocktails or running towards soldiers at a roadblock.

The real test for the Israeli government will come in early May, when parliament returns to session. At that moment the true fragility of their position will be clarified.

Other important news about the Middle East

Watchdog supports Middle Eastern states, others have spied on the UK government

Digital rights control group Citizen Lab said on Monday that it warned British officials that electronic devices connected to government networks, including some inside the prime minister’s office and the foreign ministry, appeared to be infected with spy software. Israeli-made. He said the government has been targeted by the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus, Jordan and India.

  • Background: The allegedly used spy software is known as Pegasus, a product of the NSO group, an Israeli cyber arms dealer. An NSO spokesperson told Reuters the allegations were “false”. A British government spokesman declined to comment on security issues, and government spokesmen for the UAE, Jordan and India did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Cypriot authorities “categorically” denied Reuters involvement.
  • Because matter: Both Jordan and the UAE have good relations with the UK and the allegations risk embarrassing them.

The United Arab Emirates summons the Israeli ambassador to protest against the violence in Jerusalem

The UAE foreign ministry summoned the Israeli ambassador to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in Jerusalem, the foreign ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

  • Background: More than 150 people were injured on Friday in clashes with Israeli police, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. Emirati Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem Al Hashimi told Israeli Ambassador Amir Hayek that the UAE “strongly protest” the attacks on “civilians and raids on holy places,” the statement added.
  • Because matter: Since leading a wave of Arab normalization agreements with the Jewish state in 2020, this is the first time the UAE has summoned Israel’s envoy.

Turkey arrests journalist for posting about leaking personal information

Turkish authorities jailed a reporter on Tuesday awaiting trial after he announced that hackers had stolen personal information from government websites and shared some with him, including President Tayyip Erdogan’s ID card, as evidence. his lawyer said.

  • BackgroundIndependent journalist Ibrahim Haskologlu posted the announcement on Twitter, illustrating it with a partially obscured photo of what he said was Erdogan’s ID card. His lawyer, Emrah Karatay, said his client was arrested on suspicion of illegally obtaining and leaking personal information due to his social media posts.
  • Because matter: In addition to sharing the alleged photo of Erdogan’s ID card, Haskologlu also posted an image of what he said was the ID card of Hakan Fidan, head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency. Most of the information on the cards was hidden. Turkey is one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists and the mainstream media is controlled by those close to Erdogan’s government.

Around the region

This Ramadan, the drama went beyond the screen with the premiere of the television series “From the Pyramid Road to …” about a love triangle involving a sensual Egyptian woman and a Kuwaiti couple.

Saudi state-owned channel MBC’s broadcast of the Kuwaiti family drama is raising eyebrows in the Kuwaiti government and as far as Egypt.

Written by Kuwaiti writer Hiba Hamada, the show follows the struggle between Abla, a doctor and wife of a wealthy Kuwaiti, and an Egyptian belly dancer who tries to create a wedge between them for self-interest. Kareema, the dancer, is hired to perform at Abla’s son’s wedding. After the festivities, she is unable to return home and remains in Abla’s family home, where she tries to seduce her husband.

The show touches on topics deemed controversial in Kuwait such as gender roles and relationships, and has sparked accusations of social media stereotypes. In one scene, Abla is shown teaching her son a lesson on men’s perception of women’s clothing, saying that women will be harassed in Kuwait, whatever they wear. The Egyptians contested the portrayal of Egyptian women as dancers chasing rich Gulf men.

The controversy led the Kuwaiti information ministry to distance itself from the show, saying on Twitter that “it is not produced by a Kuwaiti company, was filmed outside Kuwait and is broadcast on platforms outside Kuwait.” While the show was being filmed in the UAE, the ministry said it will launch an investigation into any scenes that may have been filmed in Kuwait without permission.

By Muhammad Abdelbary

Photo of the day

Iraqi Yazidis light candles outside the Lalish temple in a valley near the Kurdish city of Dohuk on April 19, during a ceremony marking the Yazidi New Year. About 1.6 million Yazidis commemorate the arrival of light into the world during the New Year celebrations.