Israeli minister: Parties trying to keep coalition afloat

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at a press conference on an Israeli Defense Force base in Beit El in the West Bank, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

JERUSALEM — A key partner in Israel’s governing coalition said Monday that all the factions are working to try and keep the fragile coalition afloat, less than a year after it was sworn into office. The coalition has come under threat by internal squabbles and escalating violence with the Palestinians. 

Earlier this month a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s party split from the ruling coalition, leaving the government without a majority in parliament and raising the possibility of yet another national election after years of political chaos. 

The eight-party alliance, made up of ultranationalists, dovish parties and a small Islamist faction, is now deadlocked with the opposition with 60 seats each in the 120-member Knesset. That has greatly complicated the government’s ability to pass legislation and raised the risk of plunging the country into snap elections. 

Bennett’s unwieldy coalition came to power following a protracted political crisis that saw Israelis go to the polls four times in about two years.