Rafi Peretz
Rafi Peretz Knesset spokesperson, Adina Waldman

The Knesset’s House Committee voted Tuesday afternoon to approve the split of the Jewish Home faction from the Yamina party.

In a 10 to 2 vote, with one abstention, the committee backed the request by Jerusalem Affairs Minister Rafi Peretz (Jewish Home) to split off from the Yamina party, re-establishing the Jewish Home as an independent faction in the Knesset.

Yamina opposed the move, saying the split defied the will of the party’s voters.

“This isn’t what we promised our voters; we won’t legitimize this split,” said MK Matan Kahana (Yamina).

The Jewish Home party ran on the joint Yamina list with the New Right and National Union parties in the March 2nd election. The joint ticket received six seats, with Peretz being the only Jewish Home member elected to the Knesset.

Peretz joined the Thirty-Fifth Government of Israel when it was established on May 17th, despite still formally being a member of the Yamina party, which did not join the coalition government.

Peretz requested the split from Yamina after several watchdog groups called for his removal from the government, claiming his service as a government minister while still formally in an Opposition party violated Israel’s Basic Laws.

“Due to Minister Rafi Peretz’s behavior ever since he joined the coalition and voted against the position of the Yamina party, the Knesset House Committee must designate MK Peretz as an MK who broke away from his faction without following due process, effectively doing so against the trust placed in him by the public,” The Movement for Quality Government said in a statement earlier this month.

ועדת הכנסת אישרה את בקשת הרב רפי פרץ להתפצל לסיעת יחיד ערוץ כנסת