An Israeli minister has announced his resignation from the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, according to local media.
Eli Avidar, who was not assigned any ministerial position, becomes the first minister to resign from the Bennett-led cabinet.
Avidar strongly criticized the government and its performance, saying that he should have resigned three months ago once it became clear that the government had no intention of appointing him to the post of intelligence minister.
He also accused Bennett of not intending to implement the rotation agreement he signed with Yair Lapid, who is currently the foreign minister.
According to a coalition agreement between eight Israeli parties signed in May last year, right-wing Bennett was to lead the Israeli government for two years followed by centrist Lapid for two more years.
Avidar is set to return to Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), vowing to support the government until the end of its term.
However, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Avidar’s return to Knesset is “likely to give him considerable political power by trading his vote in exchange for concessions from the coalition.”
The minister’s resignation is the latest challenge to face the coalition government.
On February 21, Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced that his Blue and White bloc will not participate in voting on bills proposed by the government unless the latter approves an increase in pensions for members of the security forces.
Meanwhile, Likud Party led by former premier-turned opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu said that this step comes as a prelude to the downfall of the Bennett government.