Ra’am, Yisrael Beitenu Sign Coalition Deal With Yesh Atid

YERUSHALAYIM -
Ra’am chairman Mansour Abbas. (Knesset Spokesman’s Office)

Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid, announced it had signed coalition agreements with the Ra’am and Yisrael Beitenu Parties overnight Thursday.

The coalition agreements that have been published indicate that the Islamist party led by Mansour Abbas will receive a deputy minister portfolio in the Prime Minister’s Office, as well as the position of deputy Knesset Speaker.

Ra’am will be the first Arab party in the governing coalition since the Arab List for Bedouin and Villagers in Yitzchak Rabin’s first term as prime minister in 1974-1977.

In addition, Ra’am will chair the Internal Affairs and Environment Committee and a committee for Arab society that will be established.

Moreover, the agreement stated that “the parties agree to approve a five-year plan to reduce gaps in Arab, Druze, Circassian and Bedouin society through a NIS 30 billion investment by the end of 2026, without prejudice to previous government decisions.”

The new government will invest 2.5 billion NIS over five years in fighting crime in the Arab sector. It will also invest 20 billions NIS for transportation in the Arab sector by 2030. Additionally, another 100 million NIS will be allocated over 5 years for infrastructure projects in Arab communities. Three unrecognized Bedouin villages, Abda, Rahma, Hisham-Zan will be recognized and developed.

An agreement was also reached overnight Thursday with the Yisrael Beitenu party. The agreement calls for term limits for Prime Minister of two terms of a total of 8 years, public transportation on Shabbos, and implementing the Kosel agreement that was reached in 2016 and canceled in 2017 due to pressure from the chareidi parties.

Yisrael Beitenu will be given the Finance Ministry to be held by party leader Avigdor Liberman, another minister in the Finance Ministry, a minister of agriculture who will also control the Negev and Galilee development portfolio, and the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee and the new committee monitoring the progress of national projects.

A deal was reached on Thursday with Meretz.

All agreements must be reached by the Friday 4 p.m. deadline with Yamina, Labor, New Hope and Blue and White.