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The Knesset

In the newest threat to Israel’s governing coalition, Likud MK Eliyahu Ravivo tweeted on Thursday that he considers himself “free from coalition commitment” until the government advances his legislation to allow the Shin Bet security service to become more active in fighting rising crime in the Arab sector.

“I came to the Knesset with the aim of restoring security to the citizens of Israel, and to do so I raised this bill, along with several other proposals related to law and order, to involve the Shin Bet in fighting serious crime,” the freshman lawmaker tweeted.


“But to my sorrow, this government is not pushing it forward despite all my efforts to speak to the decision-makers,” Ravivo added.

The Israel Security Agency — better known by its Hebrew acronym, the Shin Bet — is primarily responsible for counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and protecting VIPs.

The Shin Bet and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara objected Ravivo’s proposal, which led to the bill’s ultimate rejection by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

Shin Bet leaders are reportedly concerned that employing the agency to fight domestic crime would lead to the exposure of its methods, while Baharav-Miara and previous Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit have argued that the Shin Bet can only have a “limited role” in fighting crime.

Crime in the Arab sector has soared. According to the Abraham Initiative, a Jewish-Arab organization which promotes Arab integration into Israel society, 92 Arab Israelis have been killed in criminal violence since the beginning of 2023. The most recent murder was Ayman Zoabi, from the Arab village of Sulam, near Nazareth. The spike in violence is attributed to organized crime groups fighting turf battles and trying to eliminate rivals.

Arab Israelis have called for the government to take stronger measures against the criminal gangs, but are deeply opposed to the Shin Bet being tasked with fighting crime

The current government has a majority of 64 MKs in the 120-seat parliament.

Angry Likud officials replied that Ravivo could lose his Knesset roles if he follows through on his threats.

“One who views himself as free from responsibility to the coalition should also view himself as free of coalition roles,” said coalition whip MK Ofir Katz.

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