Israel's ruling coalition becomes minority after Palestinian MK quits, citing Shireen Abu Akleh killing
Israel's ruling coalition on Thursday became a minority in parliament when left-wing MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi pulled her support for the government, throwing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's hold on power into question.
Rinawie Zoabi, a Palestinian citizen of Israel from the left-wing Meretz Party, announced she was resigning in a letter circulated in Israeli media due to "ideological" issues.
She cited the killing of Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and Israeli violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque earlier this year as factors in her decision to resign.
Rinawie Zoabi slammed the coalition government's decision to take "hawkish, hard-line and right-wing positions", which follows Israel's killing of the Abu Akleh and other acts of brutality against Palestinians.
She said she joined the coalition - which includes far-right Israeli parties and a Palestinian Islamist group - in the hope of "a new path of equality and respect".
Her resignation leaves Bennett controlling 59 of the 120 seats in the Knesset with questions over his ability to govern.
Rinawie Zoabi had protested Israel's 'separation law' - which split Palestinian families in Israel - and the Jewish National Fund's tree-planting campaign in the Negev, viewed as an attempt to grab more land from Bedouin Palestinians in the south.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said he would appoint Rinawie Zoabi to a diplomatic post in China, which was widely seen as an attempt to oust her, Haaretz reported.
Bennett's coalition government follows months of political deadlock, ending former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decades-long domination of Israeli politics.