Following a meeting on Sunday between Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, Zoabi announced that she is returning to the coalition, just four days after she announced her resignation.
Zoabi was accompanied to the meeting by Nazareth mayor Ali Salam and a number of other Arab mayors. Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej, who was also at the meeting, said that the Arab sector is working “to turn this crisis into an opportunity to strengthen the government’s commitment to the Arab community.”
After the meeting, Salam said in a radio interview that “thanks to Zoabi, every Arab mayor is receiving NIS 200 million.”
Chareidi reporter Yisrael Cohen responded to the report by stating: “What is this if not bribery, which turns Lapid into the most corrupt politician in Israel.”
It is unknown at this time what else the coalition promised Zoabi in exchange for her return.
The Likud party responded to the news by saying: “What did Bennett and Lapid promise and how many millions did they give to MK Zoabi in exchange for the survival of their weak and fraudulent government?”
“Bennett and Lapid are giving NIS 50 billion to Mansour Abbas, hundreds of millions to the Joint List, and now millions more to Zoabi. A government that depends on haters of Israel and supporters of terrorism cannot protect the citizens of Israel, is unable to take care of our soldiers, and does not fight for the Jewish character of the state.”
Zoabi claimed that she was leaving the coalition due to the “unbearable police violence toward worshippers at Har HaBayis and at the funeral of Al Jazeera reporter Shereen Abu-Aklah.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)