Knesset raises election threshhold

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Smaller political parties in Israel will have a more difficult time entering the government under a law passed by the Knesset.

The Governance Act passed on its third and final reading on Tuesday by a vote of 67-0. Opposition parties boycotted the vote, including Labor, Shas, United Arab List-Taal and United Torah Judaism.

An amendment to Israel’s Law and the Basic Law, the legislation raises the election threshold to 3.25 percent, or about four seats, from 2 percent.

The vote on the Governance Act is part of a package deal by the parties in the government’s ruling coalition in which the lawmakers agreed to approve the act, as well as the military draft and referendum bills. Under the latter, any peace deal that would cede land would be submitted to a referendum.

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