Another Yamina MK threatens to quit coalition unless demands met

With coalition yet to get back on firm footing following Silman's abrupt exit, Nir Orbach issues three-pronged ultimatum to Bennett, further deepening political crisis
i24NEWS, Elisha Ben Kimon|
The ground got shakier for Israel's fragile ruling coalition on Thursday as MK Nir Orbach of the ruling Yamina party threatens to follow MK Idit Silman to the exit.
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  • After Silman abruptly resigned from Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's coalition on Wednesday, a similar move by Nir Orbach could potentially topple the government that already lost its majority in Israel's parliament.
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    ניר אורבך ונפתלי בנט
    ניר אורבך ונפתלי בנט
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Yamina MK Nir Orbach
    (Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch, Alex Kolomoisky)
    Aware of his trending position of power, Yamina MK Orbach on Thursday gave an ultimatum to Bennett based on three demands.
    “Without a solution to these issues, I can’t stay in the coalition,” Orbach said, reflecting months of festering frustration and tension due to public pressure on the party.
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    בניה בברוכין
    בניה בברוכין
    Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank
    (Photo: AP)
    The West Bank's construction plan, which has been glossed over time and time again, is a major wedge issue for right-wing parties. Bennett claims that he and Defense Minister Benny Gantz had agreed on advancing the construction plan, said to erect close to 4,000 new homes, and that Bennett intends on voicing his intentions clearly in order to strengthen the right-wing stance.
    Yamina also criticized Bennett's use of the term "West Bank" as opposed to "Judea and Samaria" in a public speech in which U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was present.
    The demands concern Bennett and Israel's rainbow coalition that removed Benjamin Netanyahu from power this past summer after 12 years as Israel's longest-serving prime minister.
    3 View gallery
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט במסיבת עיתונאים עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב אנתוני בלינקן
    ראש הממשלה נפתלי בנט במסיבת עיתונאים עם מזכיר המדינה של ארה"ב אנתוני בלינקן
    Naftali Bennett and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a joint press conference in Jerusalem
    (Photo: AFP)
    Restoring yeshiva subsidies goes against Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman's decision as finance minister. The other two demands conflict with left-wing members of the coalition and the international community that opposes the settlement enterprise.
    If Orbach were to resign, he would leave Bennett with a minority government of 59 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.
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