Arab takeover? Islamist party reveals ‘successes achieved’ in coalition

According to Ra’am MK Walid Taha, “the government has internalized the new rules of the game” in dealing with Israel’s Arab society.

By World Israel News Staff

The Islamist Ra’am (United Arab List) party announced Sunday evening that following negotiations with the government, it has received permission for construction in unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Negev in southern Israel, Hebrew news sites reported.

According to agreement, it will be possible to build an additional housing unit or expand to 70 square meters without a demolition order or fine.

“This is an important government decision regarding the unrecognized villages in the Negev,” Ra’am stated, saying it’s “like oxygen for Arab families in the villages.”

It will now be possible for young couples to build a home without fear of demolition or of breaking the law, the party said.

The new policy will also prohibit the demolition of existing additions to buildings that were built illegally.

Furthermore, the acting director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office will promote the allocation of millions of shekels in additional funding for the Jisr az-Zarqa Regional Council in northern Israel within the framework of negotiations to keep the Islamist Ra’am Party in the coalition, JNS reported Monday.

Ra’am Party head Mansour Abbas demanded the additional funding during talks with director-general Naama Schulz last week, according to the report.

Last week, MK Walid Taha said that “in the coming days,” the “successes achieved “by the party in talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, during which Ra’am set conditions for remaining in the coalition, will be revealed.

On Wednesday, Ra’am chairman Mansour Abbas announced his decision to remain in the coalition, ending the immediate danger of the government falling. Abbas told a Knesset news conference that the decision was made in the interests of the Arab community.

The Bennett-Lapid coalition appears on the verge of collapse, as it now holds 60 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. Reports indicate that a number of members of Bennett’s Yamina party are considering bolting.

According to Taha, “the government has internalized the new rules of the game” in dealing with Israel’s Arab society.

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party slammed the agreement.

“In order to maintain his seat, [Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett continues to sell the liquidation of the state to the Shura Council. The significance of the decision to allow and legalize illegal construction is the delivery of the Negev,” the party said in a statement.