Israel: Palestinian opposition leader Ayman Odeh won't be Bennett's 'lifeline'
The leader of the Palestinian opposition in Israel's parliament said on Wednesday that he wouldn't support Prime Minister Naftali Bennett remaining in power.
The future of Bennett's government seems uncertain after Idit Silman, a parliamentary whip, on Wednesday revealed she wished to leave the coalition, claiming that it was harming the Jewish nature of Israel.
This put Bennett's coalition on 60 members of parliament, exactly half of the seats but crucially short of a majority.
Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List of predominantly Palestinian parties, explained that he "will not be a lifeline" for the Israeli premier by supporting the coalition.
Speaking with Haaretz, he said: "We are apparently heading for elections." This would be the fifth such vote in Israel since 2019.
Odeh also said he would not become part of the government, though did not explicitly exclude lending backing to the coalition without signing up to it, according to The Times of Israel.
The Palestinian citizen of Israel called the current coalition "a bad government", adding that "we cannot be a part of" it.
"And another important issue needs to be taken into account: Bennett, Shaked, and others will not agree for us to support such a government," he said.
Ayelet Shaked is Israel's interior minister. She was recently involved in introducing a controversial law preventing Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank who marry Israeli nationals from receiving Israeli citizenship.
Odeh heads up the majority-Palestinian, leftist Hadash party, which makes up the Joint List alongside the Balad and Taal parties.
Even the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem has his freedom of movement restricted https://t.co/XvJlXUjhSr— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) April 6, 2022
Sami Abou Shehadah said Balad, which he leads, "will not provide a safety net for either Bennett or [former Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu".
Speaking with Radio Al-Shams, he explained his party would, however, gather to talk through "all the options available to us".
Taal's representatives in the Knesset, Ahmad Tibi and Osama Saadi, have previously expressed openness to collaborating with the current government, according to The Times of Israel.
Their reaction to Wednesday's developments remains to be seen.