Israel may be headed for its fifth election in three years as the ruling coalition headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett shows signs of unraveling and losing its grip on power.
Longtime Bennett ally Nir Orbach announced on Monday that he has left the ruling legislative bloc, saying it was being held hostage by “extremist, anti-Zionist elements,” such as United Arab List (Ra’am) party member Mazen Ghanaim and left-wing Meretz lawmaker Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi. Orbach’s move left Bennett’s diverse coalition with just 59 seats in the 120-member Knesset, two seats short of a majority.
Addressing the Knesset on Monday, Bennett acknowledged that his government may collapse within “a week or two” unless defectors rejoin the fold. Orbach became the third member of Bennett’s conservative Yamina party to quit the ruling bloc.