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Bennett Fears Mansour Abbas Will Be Assassinated

Bennett Fears Mansour Abbas Will Be Assassinated

Saturday, 14 May, 2022 - 10:15
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem Sunday, April 10, 2022. (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that the head of the Islamist Arab Ra'am party, Mansour Abbas, might be murdered.

Bennett made this statement in private talks with two political figures, a source close to the premier revealed on Friday.

Bennett did not elaborate on the basis of his assessment and whether there was intelligence on the matter.

However, he said the concern is that Israeli Arab citizens who oppose the United Arab List’s participation in the coalition will be influenced by what the prime minister called “wild incitement” against the party’s chairman.

His interlocutors believed Bennett’s concern was genuine.

Abbas said on Tuesday he would continue his party’s membership in the coalition after suspending it following tensions at a key Jerusalem holy site in recent weeks.

“Ra’am decided to give an additional opportunity to the coalition and the government in order to move the wheels of decisions and implement them in a practical manner,” he told reporters in parliament, flanked by his three party members and speaking in Arabic.

Ra’am is one of eight parties that make up the country's ideologically disparate coalition, which runs the gamut from dovish factions to nationalist ones.

Ra’am made history last year when it became the first party representing Arab citizens of Israel to join a coalition.

The parties were brought together over their opposition to former leader Benjamin Netanyahu and they have little else in common. While they agreed to put aside divisive issues such as Palestinian statehood to keep the coalition stable, the parties have frequently butted heads over their differences.

Weeks of Israeli-Palestinian violence, much of it fueled by tensions and fighting at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site, prompted Abbas to suspend cooperation.

Abbas has been highly praised by Israeli politicians following his decision to rejoin the coalition.

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