Netanyahu Withstands Vote of No-confidence in Knesset

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu withstood a Knesset no-confidence vote this week that was submitted by the opposition in the wake of last month’s violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu’s governing coalition defeated the motion Monday in a vote of 55-49. Two members of the right-wing Moledet Party abstained.

Labor Knesset member David Libai spoke for the opposition on the last day before his resignation from the Knesset took effect.

In the wake of a new law barring legislators from holding other jobs, Libai resigned from the Knesset this week to pursue his academic career.

Libai, justice minister in the previous Labor government, attacked the government’s decision last month to open a new entrance to an ancient tunnel located near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

The move sparked three days of violence in the territories that left close to 80 Israelis and Palestinians dead.

Libai said he had no faith in Netanyahu’s decisions, adding that the prime minister did not understand the principles of democracy and had no policy for peace.

Foreign Minister David Levy responded for the government.

He said the Netanyahu government, which has been subject to attacks and pressure since taking office, nonetheless had to implement its policies.

Levy pointed out that talks with the Palestinians were progressing, adding that an agreement on the long-delayed Israel Defense Force redeployment in Hebron could be reached in the coming days.

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