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HomeNewsRa'am's Abbas says Netanyahu wooed him with promises to cancel Kamenitz Law

Ra’am’s Abbas says Netanyahu wooed him with promises to cancel Kamenitz Law

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The leader of the RAAM party, Mansour Abbas, on Tuesday revealed the contents of the unfinished coalition negotiations in 2019 with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he had received far-reaching promises, including repealing the controversial Kamnitz law, if he had joined the organization. Led by Netanyahu.

Abbas’ remarks came as opposition parties tried to portray him as in touch with the Hamas terrorist organization, as they stepped up efforts to discredit the coalition government ahead of this week’s important budget vote.

The government will fall if the budget is not passed and the opposition led by the Likud has acted to try and exacerbate the rifts in a coalition that includes the right-wing, center-left and Islamist parties.

In a conversation with the news site Ynet, Abbas called the Likud’s hypocritical effort, and said that Netanyahu offered RAAM everything he receives as a coalition party now that he is trying to woo Thunder to the government with him, and that the Likud knew exactly what RAAM stands for.

“Those people who are inciting against us today, knew everything about all our activities, about NGOs, about our beliefs. Everything is on our pages in the media, and intelligence, security and law enforcement have been aware of our activities for the last 25 years, and everyone says it’s legal.” Abbas told Ynet.

“Netanyahu knew this, he was prime minister and in charge of all the security apparatus, and suddenly now he has revealed principles and incited against us,” Abbas said sarcastically. “He believes that what he deserves does not owe others. Only he can form a coalition with thunder, but not others; if they do it is wrong, illegitimate.”

Prime Minister Mansour Abbas in the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 12 (Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90)

“We explain this to all Israeli citizens, Jews and Arabs: that we will continue in our political partnership in a moderate way,” Abbas said.

He also detailed the specific proposals he received from Netanyahu, saying he had physical evidence he could eventually uncover.

“Everything we received in the current government, we received from the negotiations with the Likud. “Beyond that, (Netanyahu) would always tell me, in order to convince me, that only I can repeal the Kamnitz law, only I can recognize localities in the Negev, only I can take responsibility,” Abbas said.

The repeal of the so-called Kamnitz law, which was passed in the Knesset in 2017, is a major demand of Arab parties in recent years, which they claim is intended to stifle Arab construction.

The law strengthened the state’s ability to deal with illegal construction, and created additional tools for enforcing the building and planning code. This package of improvements, officially titled Amendment 116, included stricter sanctions against construction offenses and facilitated inspectors to issue work stoppage and demolition orders.

The amendment to the law may benefit Arab Arab towns where there is illegal construction. Sources in those municipalities claim that the reason for much of the illegal construction is the government’s refusal to issue enough building permits.

Netanyahu tried on several occasions to negotiate a deal with the PM when he sought to form a coalition after a shameful election, but was vetoed by his far-right partners.

National Planning and Building Law Enforcement Unit Destroys Illegal Structures in Qalansawa, 10 January 2017 (National Planning and Building Law Enforcement Unit)

Abbas’ comments come as the opposition has stepped up its anti-government campaign.

Thousands of right-wing activists and Likud supporters demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Tuesday against Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government, as the deadline for passing a budget and strengthening the coalition is approaching.

The rally, organized by Netanyahu’s Likud party, included performances by party members Tzachi Hanegbi, Miri Regev and Amir Ohana, as well as Knesset members from Religious Zionism Bezalel Smutrich and Itamar Ben Gvir.

Holders hold signs that read “You have no mandate to erase the Jewish state,” “A Jewish government for a Jewish state,” and “Betrayal of Bennett / Shaked is a crime,” the demonstrators in Habima Square in Tel Aviv called for the overthrow of the government and the return of Netanyahu to power.

MK Patin Molla from the Likud. (Noam Rabkin Fenton / Flash 90)

Likud MK Patin Mola told the audience that Abbas and the Ra’am party were “taking money and killing our soldiers,” Haaretz reported.

The demonstration was seen as the biggest protest so far by the right-wing opposition to the government.

Government right-wing activists in Tel Aviv, November 2, 2021. (Avshalom Shashoni / Flash 90)

The government has until November 14 to pass a much-delayed 2021 budget. If it does not do so, the coalition will disband automatically and new elections will be called.

The marathon discussions on approving the state budget began on Tuesday in the Knesset and were expected to continue all night and the next day, as the government aspired to break a 3.5-year period during which no national budget was passed.

The debates marked the first time a government has presented a state budget for final approval in parliament since 2018, due to a prolonged political deadlock that caused successive governments to fall before they could bring a plan to the Knesset.

Voting on the budget will begin late Wednesday. A final vote on the budget is expected to take place only on Thursday night or Friday morning. The lengthy voting process stems from hundreds of preliminary votes on specific objections that legislators can raise to the budget and the accompanying arrangements bill, which contains the details of how the financial plan will be implemented. Both bills must pass before the November 14 deadline.

Failure to pass legislation will automatically lead to new elections, which will be Israel’s fifth in three years.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (right) and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speak in the Knesset, September 2, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi / Flash 90)

The last time the Israeli government managed to pass a budget was in March 2018. It was the non-approval of the budget that toppled the previous government at the end of last year.

The 2021 budget bill passed first reading in September by a vote of 59-54, with the 2022 budget getting approved with a vote of 59 to 53.

Ahead of the UN climate summit in Glasgow on Sunday, Bennett was confident the budget would pass despite the opposition’s “desperate” attempts to prevent its passage and effectively overthrow the government.

The diverse composition of the government – made up of right, center and left parties – has complicated the effort to pass a budget, with the opposition of a single MP being theoretically capable of overthrowing the thin coalition.

Right-wing MK Amichai Chikli said he would vote against the budget, and UT Kalfon in the party said he had approached him and other lawmakers with proposals to defect to the opposition.

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