May 19, 2022 11:09 GMT
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The resignation of left-wing green Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawi Zoabi from the governing coalition risks the collapse of the Israeli gov't, and could lead to the country's fifth election in 40 months.
- With Rinawi Zoabi's resignation, the opposition now holds 61 seats in the Knesset to the gov'ts 59. A united opposition would see PM Naftali Bennett's administration ousted in a confidence vote.
- Rinawi Zoabi's resignation letter stated concerns that the gov't favours the right-wing of the broad coaltion in place, unrest in Jerusalem during Ramadan and the killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shirin Abu Akleh.
- Foreign Minister and leader of the liberal Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid seen as crucial in holding together the broad coalition, with the risk that Rinawi Zoabi's defection results in more MKs from the Meretz or the Islamist Ra'am party leaving the coalition and guaranteeing the fall of the gov't.
- No guarantee Rinawi Zoabi would vote against the gov't in a confidence motion, with the potential for a form of confidence-and-supply agreement. Moreover, opposition viewed as fractured as the gov't, with the Hardei-interest United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party seen as potentially backing the gov't should Defence Minister Benny Gantz be offered the position of PM but only if the leftist parties were removed from the coalition.