Israel’s ruling coalition has become a minority in parliament after an Arab lawmaker from a left-wing party quit, leaving Prime Minister Naftali Bennett with a more precarious grip on power.
The defection by Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi, who in a letter circulated in Israeli media said she was pulling her support for the government on ideological grounds, leaves Bennett controlling 59 of the 120 seats in the Knesset.
Bennett heads a collection of left-wing, centrist, right-wing and Arab parties that was sworn in a year ago, ending Benjamin Netanyahu’s record 12-year run as prime minister.
It lost its slight majority last month when a lawmaker from Bennett’s own right-wing party quit the coaltion.
The government is now more vulnerable and would need to find external support should the opposition bring a no-confidence vote in parliament.
In her letter to Bennett informing him she was quitting, Zoabi, a legislator from the Meretz party, referenced an escalation in violence at a Jerusalem holy site as well as hard-handed tactics by Israeli police at the funeral last week of a Palestinian journalist.
“I cannot keep supporting the existence of a coaltion that shamefully harrasses the society I came from,” she said.