Naftali Bennett: Proud Hamas wants government toppled

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar slammed Ra'am chief Mansour Abbas for remaining part of the coalition after Temple Mount clashes.

 PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett and Ra’am Chairman Mansour Abbas confer in the Knesset last month. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett and Ra’am Chairman Mansour Abbas confer in the Knesset last month.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett expressed satisfaction on Sunday with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar’s criticism of his government.

Sinwar slammed Ra’am (United Arab List) leader Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday for remaining part of the coalition after police violence on the Temple Mount. He called Ra’am’s decision “an unforgivable crime.”

Bennett said he was not surprised that Sinwar does not like an Israeli government that improves the lives of Arab-Israeli citizens, advances coexistence and does not give Hamas suitcases of dollars like its predecessors did.

“This is an important point when the masks come off, and it is clear who wants what,” Bennett said. “The fact that Hamas wants to topple our government says everything. We cannot let Hamas win.”

Following the criticism from Hamas, the Knesset is expected to increase Abbas’s security detail.

YAHYA SINWAR, leader of Hamas in Gaza, gestures on stage during a rally in Gaza City on May 24 (credit: ATIA MOHAMMED/FLASH90)YAHYA SINWAR, leader of Hamas in Gaza, gestures on stage during a rally in Gaza City on May 24 (credit: ATIA MOHAMMED/FLASH90)

Ra’am is expected to unfreeze its membership in the coalition when the Knesset’s spring recess ends next Monday.

Bennett and Abbas met on Sunday at the Prime Minister’s Office and agreed on a staged framework for Ra’am’s return. But other MKs in his faction are threatening to not return and are urging Abbas to stop such meetings.

Meanwhile, the Knesset will hold a special meeting Monday, during recess and at the opposition’s request, to discuss “how the failed government lost its majority and yet undemocratically and unprecedentedly is still holding on to its cabinet seats.”

Likud MK Israel Katz, who initiated the meeting, said he would call upon Bennett to resign and allow opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government.

“It is already clear to the public that this government can no longer function,” Katz said.