Police officers clash with Arab rioters in the Temple Mount
Police officers clash with Arab rioters in the Temple Mountצילום: שלו שלום/TPS

An Islamic council which provides spiritual advice to the United Arab List met Sunday to rule on the party’s future in the Bennett government.

The Shura Council of the Southern Islamic Movement convened an emergency session Sunday afternoon to decide whether the United Arab List (Ra’am) party will remain a partner in the coalition government following days of violent Arab rioting and efforts by Israeli security forces to quell the violence.

UAL chief MK Mansour Abbas is urging members of the Shura Council not to take dramatic steps, such as forcing the party to resign from the government.

The meeting was called amid heavy pressure on the party from within the Southern Islamic Movement to bolt the government over the use of police forces to break up Arab rioting on the Temple Mount, including the insertion of Border Police officers to the Al Aqsa Mosque, after hundreds of rioters barricaded themselves inside the building last Friday.

Even some supporters of Abbas within the party have begun to express doubts about the UAL’s continued presence in the coalition.

MK Walid Taha told Channel 13 Sunday afternoon that he is “not optimistic about our future in the coalition.”

Taha accused Jewish visitors to the Mount of sparking the riots, calling their presence on the Mount a “provocation”.

“I would expect the government to behave differently towards Jews who ascend [the Mount] to make a provocation at the Al Aqsa Mosque; but instead it let a few hundred fascists behave that way. The price will, it appears, be the dissolution of the coalition.”

The Bennett government is poised to lose its majority in the Knesset with the departure of coalition chairwoman Idit Silman (Yamina), leaving the Knesset evenly divided between the government and the opposition.

Should the UAL leave the coalition, the opposition will have an absolute majority of 64 seats, and will be able to pass a motion of no confidence to topple the government.

Earlier on Sunday, Sheikh Mohammad Salameh Hassan, one of the spiritual leaders of the Southern Islamic Movement and the UAL, demanded the party withdraw from the coalition immediately.

On Sunday, Arabs attempted to block Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount by placing stones at the passageways used by Jews. Five people were injured when stones were thrown at buses carrying worshipers to the Western Wall.

The violence comes following a string of Arab terror attacks across Israel, including a stabbing attack in Haifa on Friday.