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Monday, July 15, 2024

Collapse of Netanyahu’s government is ‘only a matter of time’: Far-right Shas party

Shas officials launched strong attack on Netanyahu's Likud party after Israeli Knesset rejected contentious ‘Rabbis Bill’ project, says public broadcaster

The Shas party, a far-right Israeli political partner in the coalition government, said Wednesday the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is “only a matter of time,” according to the Israeli broadcasting authority.

Shas officials launched a strong attack on Netanyahu’s Likud party after the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, rejected the contentious “Rabbis Bill” project, it said.

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Netanyahu withdrew the “Rabbis Bill” on Tuesday from the agenda before its first reading in the Knesset, citing a lack of majority support.

Shas is pressing for the passage of the bill, which transfers the authority to appoint municipal rabbis from local authorities to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, which is led by Shas’ Minister Moshe Gafni.

But members of Likud and the far-right Jewish Power party, led by Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir, oppose the project.

“There is no coalition, there is no discipline, and the most frustrating thing is that the Likud is a party made up of 35 separate factions,” an unnamed Shas official told the Kan public broadcaster.

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The broadcaster noted that Shas will discuss steps it will take in response to the rejection of the project.

The government was formed by the Likud, Shas, Jewish Power, Religious Zionism and United Torah Judaism parties, and the withdrawal of any party would lead to its collapse.

For months, the Israeli opposition has been calling for the government’s resignation and early elections, which Netanyahu refuses, claiming it would “paralyze the state” and freeze negotiations for an exchange of prisoners with the Palestine resistance group, Hamas.​​​​​​​

The opposition accuses Netanyahu of pursuing policies that serve his personal interests, especially in continuing in his position as leader of Israel, and failing to achieve the goals of the war on Gaza, particularly in eliminating Hamas and bringing hostages back from the enclave.