As the Knesset opened its summer session on Monday, tensions were running high between Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Ra’am Party head Mansour Abbas, according to Israeli media reports.

Abbas has accused Lapid of briefing media outlets against him, particularly over the contentious issue of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the scene of Palestinian rioting against Israeli security forces throughout the month of Ramadan, according to Kan Reshet Bet radio.

On April 17, Ra’am froze its membership in the coalition amid a wave of terrorism and unrest, and conditioned its return to voting with the coalition on two demands.

The first is that a summit be initiated between Israel and Jordan on the issue of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, and to formulate an outline to “returning the status quo,” the report said.

The second condition is a government release of funds, amounting to NIS 2 billion ($583.4 million) for projects in the Arab sector, which have gotten “stuck” due to the actions of various ministries, the report added.

Senior coalition officials, meanwhile, warned Ra’am that if it does not show up to vote on Wednesday on an opposition no-confidence bill, the Arab party would be responsible for pushing the coalition towards collapse.

JNS

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