By David Hellerman, World Israel News
The Islamic Ra’am party announced on Sunday it was temporarily suspending its support for the governing coalition to protest what it called police violence against Palestinians on the Temple Mount during riots on Friday morning.
The two-week suspension is widely viewed as a symbolic gesture with little practical impact.
The freeze was coordinated with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and ends well before the Knesset reconvenes in May.
According to Hebrew media reports, Ra’am wants to remain in the coalition, but is facing enormous Arab-Israeli pressure.
Party leader Mansour Abbas is said to hope that the situation will calm down by May 9 when the Knesset next meets.
The suspension was ordered by Ra’am’s Shura Council, an advisory body with the authority to order the party to quit the coalition.
On Friday morning, rioting Palestinian youths on the Temple Mount threw rocks and firecrackers at Jewish worshippers in the Western Wall plaza below, then barricaded themselves inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Police at first did not enter the mosque, not wanting to disrupt Muslim prayer services. But the violence persisted. Three police officers and 152 Palestinians were injured. Another 300 Palestinians were arrested.
According to a Dutch study cited by the Jerusalem Post, “Ramadan brought with it a 200% increase in terrorist attacks in Israel between 2005 and 2016.”
The governing coalition lost its one-seat majority before Passover when Yamina MK Idit Silman quit the government to join the opposition.