Coalition MKs leave Knesset after failing to get majority; opposition bills advance

Coalition MKs leave the plenum after failing to secure a majority for votes on several bills, as Ra’am lawmakers continue to boycott voting in protest of forestry work in the south.

Due to the coalition’s absence, opposition MKs are able to pass several bills in their preliminary readings.

The coalition had sought to get Ra’am MKs to attend the plenum session, but the Islamist party skipped the votes despite the brokering of an agreement aimed at resolving the controversy over the tree-planting program.

“There are no winners and losers, all of us together as citizens will win when we plant and hope and allow the residents of the Negev to live and make a living with honor,” Ra’am chief Mansour Abbas tweets.

“We will promote discussion that will lead to acceptable agreements,” Abbas adds, saying it is “in all of our interests, Jews and Arabs,” to reach a resolution on the Negev.

“Israeli governments have failed in dealing with the issue of the Negev. Together, we will restore the fabric of relations and the Negev will flourish and thrive for all of our benefit.”

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