Ra’am resolves dispute with Home Secretary Shaked ahead of budget vote – .

Ra’am resolves dispute with Home Secretary Shaked ahead of budget vote – .

A feud between the Islamist Ra’am party and other members of the coalition that defied the government ahead of a key vote on Israel’s first budget in years was resolved by an agreement reached between the parties, said on Saturday. a television report.

A senior Ra’am official told Kan News that “the main obstacle” to their support for the 2021-2022 budget has been resolved and that there has been “significant progress” with Home Secretary Ayelet Shaked , which had been in the center. tiff.

The obstacle the official was referring to was apparently related to certain budgets for Arab localities, for which Ra’am fought.

“The budgets will not be diverted from the Jewish authorities to the Arab authorities,” the source said, “but will come from an external budget obtained by the party. We are against shifting budgets from poor localities to poorer ones, but instead seek to ensure that everyone receives budgets equally.

The Ra’am official added that there were other “smaller” disputes with members of the coalition that are expected to be resolved in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, MK Ra’am Walid Taha, head of the Knesset’s Home Affairs and Environment Committee, called off meetings that had been scheduled to mark an economic arrangements bill accompanying the budget proposal .

MK Walid Taha (Ra’am) attends a meeting of the Arrangements Committee at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 23, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel / Flash90)

The cancellation came after Shaked delayed a bill pushed by Ra’am to allow homes built without proper permits to still be connected to electricity.

In a tweet, Taha threatened that the party could quit the government – thus forcing its collapse – if promises made during the coalition talks were not kept.

“The time for decisions has come! Either the agreements are honored in their entirety, or we go to the elections, ”he wrote. “Electricity is a basic vital necessity and the state is preventing the connection of thousands of houses because it could not be disturbed for decades to advance construction plans in the Arab community. Taha accused the country of punishing residents who had been coerced into the situation.

Some 90,000 people live in unrecognized Bedouin townships in Israel’s southern Negev desert. The Israeli government considers the sprawling villages illegal and the residents, many of whom constitute Ra’am’s political base, live in conditions of poverty, with limited access to electricity and running water.

A view of houses in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Sawaneen, in Israel’s southern Negev Desert, June 8, 2021 (Hazem Bader / AFP)

The law pushed by Ra’am and delayed by Shaked would have allowed the Israel Electric Company to connect homes to the grid even if they don’t have a license. It would also have allowed the company to replace illegal makeshift electrical connections, prevalent in some areas, with regulated legal connections.

Ra’am, the first Arab party to enter government in decades, has used its unique position to lobby to end neglect in Arab communities.

The coalition is made up of just 61 members, which gives it the thinnest possible majority in the 120-seat Knesset and gives Ra’am or any other party the power to topple the government by withdrawing.

Failure to pass the two budget bills in second and third reading in the Knesset by the November 14 deadline would automatically dissolve parliament and call an election.


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