Israeli MP resigns over ‘harassment’ of Palestinians, throwing government into minority


Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, an MP from the left-leaning Meretz party, said she opposed what she called the government’s rightward shift and accused it of ‘shamefully harassing the society where I come from’ .

His resignation means Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has the support of only 59 of the 120 Knesset members and now leads a minority government, which could signal a new round of elections in the country after years of political instability. .

“In recent months, for narrow political considerations, coalition leaders have chosen to preserve and strengthen its right flank,” Rinawie Zoabi wrote in her unexpected resignation letter on Thursday. “The last month, the month of Ramadan, has been unbearably difficult,” she added.

“The Temple Mount scenes of violent police confronting a crowd of worshippers, and the funeral of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, have led me to only one valid conclusion: no more,” Rinawie Zoabi wrote. “I cannot continue to support the existence of a coalition that shamefully harasses the society from which I come.”

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

Television footage from the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh showed officers beating mourners with batons, forcibly removing Palestinian flags and arresting individuals carrying her coffin through the streets of Jerusalem. Abu Akleh was shot in the head in the West Bank while covering an Israeli military raid; the precise circumstances of his murder remain unclear.

“I believed and continue to believe in Arab-Jewish coexistence with every part of my being, in academia, business, as well as politics,” Rinawie Zoabi wrote in her letter. “I also believe and continue to believe that a true Jewish-Arab partnership must come from a place of equality, with both sides in agreement.”

The resignation of Rinawie Zoabi does not automatically trigger the downfall of Bennett’s 11-month-old government. But opposition leaders could seek and win a fifth parliamentary election in four years if they win the support of the Knesset, where the government is now larger.

Bennett took office on a rotational basis with centrist leader and current foreign minister Yair Lapid, who last year assembled a broad and fragile coalition of political parties, including Meretz. Lapid must swap roles with Bennett for the final two years of their four-year terms, if the government survives that long.

No decision has been made on investigation of Abu Akleh, IDF says

The shock political resignation came amid growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

On Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces denied an Israeli media report that there was no IDF criminal investigation into Abu Akleh’s killing. The Haaretz newspaper reported Thursday morning that the Military Police Criminal Investigation Division (MPCID) decided not to open an investigation. Hours later, the IDF said no decision had yet been made.

“A decision regarding the need for an MPCID investigation will be determined by Military Advocacy, in accordance with the findings of the still-ongoing operational investigation, as is the norm in such cases,” the IDF said in a statement.

Shireen Abu Akleh, journalist for Al Jazeera, denounces the violent actions of the Israeli police during his funeral

According to IDF policy, a criminal investigation is not automatically initiated if a death occurs during an active combat situation, unless there is a credible and immediate suspicion of a criminal offense identified in the case. course of the event.

Shireen Abu Akleh’s brother, Tony, told CNN he was not surprised by the news that there would be no criminal investigation, saying he “didn’t expect much.” thing from Israel and it was obvious that they are biased,” said Tony Abu Akleh.

“From our side…we will continue the investigation and continue a just investigation into the murder of my sister Shireen, and we will also underscore the importance of the United States government taking immediate action to bring those responsible and responsible to a full prosecution. By the law,” he said.

“Shireen is an American citizen killed abroad and the United States should take immediate action to investigate this crime and her murder of an American journalist,” he said.

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

“This system has proven time and time again that it is unable and unwilling to conduct investigations and prosecutions to the standards required by international law,” Ziv Stahl, the organization’s executive director, said in a statement.

Publishing its analysis of data from 2019 and 2020, the group said the chance of a Palestinian having their complaint lead to a soldier being prosecuted was just 2%. The group also said that 72% of complaints filed from 2019 to 2020 regarding alleged offenses committed by soldiers against Palestinians were dismissed without criminal investigation.


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