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Meretz minister says ‘didn’t see any signs’ that MK would quit coalition

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej says he and other Meretz members were “astounded” by the decision of the left-wing party’s MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi’s decision to quit the coalition.

Frej calls the move “strange” and says he last met with Rinawie Zoabi at the Knesset on Monday.

“I didn’t see any signs of this. I read her letter. It’s hard for us too, but we’re not taking extreme steps,” the minister tells Kan public radio.

He also defends the coalition after Rinawie Zoabi accused it of being too right-wing and ignoring issues important to Arab Israelis.

“This coalition is the best we could have assembled. We have accomplishments: a decline in crime in Arab society, a change in the perception of Jews that an Arab can be a partner in the government,” Frej says.

He also vows that the government, which now holds a minority of Knesset seats, “will not fall.”

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