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Fears over Israel’s coalition; Naftali Bennett speaks at Israel’s parliament

The heterogenous coalition could usher in a more liberal civil rights agenda and would include an independent Arab party.

Naftali Bennett, who would be prime minister first if the coalition comes to power, speaks at Israel’s parliament.

Israel’s internal security director issued a rare public warning on Saturday night about what he called rising levels of incitement. The social tensions come ahead of a vote on a political coalition designed to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Far-right Jewish activists announced plans for a provocative march through Palestinian neighborhoods of Jerusalem to occur later this week. And on Sunday, Israeli police detained Palestinian twins whose activism helped bring attention to the displacement of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, which precipitated the recent conflict in Gaza.

The heterogenous coalition could usher in a more liberal civil rights agenda and would include, for the first time in Israeli history, an independent Arab party.

But some fear the political turbulence might prompt hard-right members to withdraw. Netanyahu and his supporters are turning up the heat, accusing ultranationalist members of betraying the country. And hundreds of right-wing protesters picketed the homes of several wavering members.

Divisions: Ultra-Orthodox Jews, who make up 13 percent of the population, stand to lose power. Under Netanyahu, the two main Haredi parties became linchpins in governing coalitions, wielding their outsized influence to secure generous state funding, fight pandemic restrictions, push a conservative social agenda and exempt members from compulsory military service.

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