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Bennett's Responsibility

Prime Minister Bennett Explicitly announced That "There will be No political process With the Palestinians".

In other words, He informed the Palestinians That they have no hope whatsoever To get free Of the Israeli occupation Through negotiations. Any road to liberty By non-violent means Was completely closed off.

The six Palestinian prisoners Who staged a daring prison break, Are admired by their people As freedom fighters, While Israel regards them As dangerous terrorists. They may provide the spark Setting off a great conflagration

The full responsibility For all developments From this point onwards Lies firmly with Naftali Benet.

Gush Shalom Statement - Spet. 13, 2021 Contact: Adam Keller +972-54-2340749

Crisis Brews as Israeli Ministers Struggle to Agree on Illegal Outpost, Citizenship Law

Left-wing Meretz, which says it was not consulted on a compromise with the Evyatar settlers, will not support extending the temporary legislation that prevents Palestinians married to Israelis from gaining citizenship

The left-wing Meretz party said on Thursday that it would not support extending the temporary amendment to the Citizenship Law, which blocks Palestinian spouses of Israelis from gaining Israeli citizenship, in response to the deal the Israeli government reached with the residents of the unauthorized West Bank outpost of Evyatar.

The temporary amendment to the law was passed in 2003, during the second intifada, for security reasons. It has been extended every year since, and the previous government began the process of passing it this year. Since the new government took office, Likud has refused to support its extension, saying it will not help the coalition overcome the obstacles it has made for itself.

The agreement between the government and Evyatar settlers stipulates that they will leave the outpost by the weekend. A military base will be established there, and a yeshiva will be set up in a few months' time – only after the Israel examines the ownership status of the land and declares it state-owned.

Meretz Chairman Nitzan Horowitz announced his party's opposition to extending the amendment, which will significantly hurt its chances of being passed. Meretz opposed the compromise with the Evyatar settlers, saying it was never consulted on the matter. The party’s lawmakers are expected to vote against or abstain from voting on extending the temporary legislation, which is expected to take place in the Knesset on Monday.

A senior Meretz official said that the right-wing component of the government coalition feels they can do whatever they want, and that everyone else will have to accept it. “[Yamina's Ayelet] Shaked even allows herself to make threats. It doesn’t work that way. The two sides knew what type of marriage they were getting into,” and both sides will have to put up with things they don’t want, the official said.

Over the past few days, Meretz lawmakers have expressed their opposition to the amendment. Two of them, Esawi Freige and Mossi Raz, announced that they would vote against it. “The Citizenship Law is racist and I reject it, even at the price of giving up the job of minister,” said Freige, who is the regional cooperation minister, in an interview with Kan Bet public radio on Tuesday.

Raz said earlier in the week that he opposes “extending the Citizenship Law. This is a discriminatory law that imposes restrictions on the Arab citizen and sees him as a security and demographic threat.”

In conversations he held on Thursday with Meretz lawmakers, Horowitz made it clear that he too does not intend to support the amendment. But because of his resignation from the Knesset through the so-called Norwegian Law, Horowitz cannot vote on it in any case.

Freige also cannot vote against the amendment – unless he wants to resign his ministerial post – since cabinet members cannot vote against a government-sponsored law and remain in office. He can, however, absent himself from the vote, which he will likely do. The rest of Meretz’s lawmakers are also expected to vote against the extension or abstain.

Meretz's decision reduces the chances of the coalition reaching a compromise on the amendment with the members of the United Arab List. Lacking a majority, the coalition will have to enlist broad support from the opposition parties, or allow the amendment to expire.

If that does happen, the significance of the expiration will be limited because as interior minister, Shaked can reject Palestinians' request for Israeli citizenship. Earlier in the week, Shaked called on opposition lawmakers to support the law, or at the very least abstain, “if they don’t want to naturalize 15,000 Palestinian citizens immediately.”

The discussion of the amendment in the Knesset Arrangements Committee was postponed once again on Thursday because of a lack of agreement within the coalition. The committee is supposed to decide which committee will prepare the law for its further readings in the full Knesset.

Shaked and Construction and Housing Minister Zeev Elkin are coordinating the handling of it, and plan on bringing it to a vote in the full Knesset, even without a majority, to try to accuse Likud lawmakers and the opposition of blocking it. This is why the coalition will ask for a roll call vote.

Michael Hauser Tov Haaretz Jul. 1, 2021