Israel PM suffers defeat over Arab family unification ban

Yamina party member votes with Opposition, causing a tie

Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused his opponents on Tuesday of harming national security as his coalition failed to extend a ban on citizenship for Palestinian spouses from the West Bank and Gaza.

Earlier, the coalition had sought a deal for nearly all of its members to back the ban’s extension. He had also called for opposition right-wingers to support the measure, urging unity on national security grounds. But that failed when a member of the Yamina party, Amichai Chikli, voted with the Opposition, tweeting later that the debate over the Bill was “proof” that a government without a “clear Zionist majority” would be “problematic”. His defection left Parliament tied at 59 to 59 votes, meaning the measure would lapse later Tuesday.

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