Knesset committee chaired by Arab [Palestinian] MK stripped of its power

Mansour Abbas speaking in the Knesset (Adina Wallman)

Middle East Monitor  /  June 9, 2021

The Knesset Interior Committee, headed by Arab-Israeli MK Mansour Abbas, has been stripped of its power due to the agreement to establish a new coalition “government for change”, Arab48.com reported on Tuesday.

The committee is one of the most important in the Israeli parliament. It covers security, internal security, planning and building. These are the most sensitive and burning issues for the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Its powers will be shifted to a new committee yet to be formed and headed by the Yesh Atid party led by Yair Lapid, a key player in the proposed new government.

“It is clear that we stripped Mansour Abbas of his powers,” one member of the new coalition told Israeli TV. “What? Have we turned crazy because of giving him the authority to monitor the police?” Others claim that the committee move happened in coordination with Abbas.

The new government is expected to be sworn in on Sunday. Although the coalition agreement has not yet been published, its main terms are apparently related to the reinforcement of settlement building in Jerusalem and turning the city into the capital of Israel by relocating ministries there from Tel Aviv.

It is said that Abbas agreed to join the government after an agreement to freeze the demolition of Arab homes in the Negev for nine months; the appointment of a member of Abbas’s Ra’am party as deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office; and the allocation of half a million [?] shekels for projects in Arab communities.