Ra'am chairman Mahmoud Abbas
Ra'am chairman Mahmoud Abbas Noam Moskowitz/Knesset spokesperson

A source in the United Arab List (Ra'am) threatened Wednesday to bring down the coalition if any changes are made to the current version of the electricity law, Channel 12 News reported.

The bill is designed to allow tens of thousands of homes which were built without permits to be connected to the electricity grid. The controversy erupted after Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked clarified during a plenary session that the law does not apply to localities in the Bedouin diaspora in the Negev.

"The Electricity Law was ordered in 2014 and then extended in 2017 and 2019," Shaked said. "He is not talking at all about the Bedouin diaspora in the Negev, despite lies that your friends are spreading. This is not about electricity connection in the Negev at all, but about comprehensive plans."

According to Shaked, "A person who wants to connect his house to electricity must pay NIS 200,000 ... Mayors in the cities involved - including Likud mayors - think the law is correct and can charge the IEC properly and thus residents will not be connected to electricity through pirate means. There are no detailed plans and no legalization at all in the diaspora."

Last month, Channel 12 News reported that the chairman of the Interior Committee, MK Walid Taha of Ra'am, introduced significant changes in the Electricity Law, despite the coalition's understandings that another version agreed upon in a preliminary reading should be adhered to. The changes were introduced by MK Taha while Shaked was in the United States and without her knowledge. The Ra'am party then threatened to vote against the bill if Taha's amendments were not approved. At the end of contacts, the parties reached a temporary compromise according to which there will be no vote until the parties reach an agreement.

A document published by the Regavim movement shows that the new wording allows, among other things, connection to electricity of houses built following the Kaminitz law if they have a deposit plan, and also connection of houses in which people live live in them even if they are not intended for residence. The Ra'am party had already stated at the time that they intended to fight for the law.

"This is my role as chairman of the committee and the role of Knesset members - to make changes to the law," MK Taha told Channel 12 News. "The principle that guides me is architectural logic and we will stand by it and it cannot be dissolved by political tactics."

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