Netanyahu gives extremists important ministries in his new Israeli government

 Otzma Yehudit and the Likud have reached an agreement cementing the position of Itamar Ben-Gvir’s party in the new government, the Likud and Otzma Yehudit said in a statement on Friday morning.

Ben-Gvir will serve as national security minister, an expanded version of the Public Security Ministry, the jurisdiction of which will also include the Real Estate Enforcement Division and the Judea and Samaria Border Police division.

“We took an important step tonight to establish a full right-wing government. The return of security to the streets is a concern for the Negev and the Galilee and the national resilience for senior citizens and youth centers as well as for the heritage sites in Israel.

I am happy that the agreement on the ministries that Otzma Yehudit will receive will allow us to realize our election promises — for the security and strengthening of the Negev, the Galilee and the periphery,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement. 

Otzma Yehudit’s Isaac Vaserlauf will receive the Negev and the Galilee Ministry, which will be split from the Social Periphery Ministry, and the Heritage Ministry. Amichai Eliyahu will be the heritage minister.

Almog Cohen will be the deputy economy minister, Zvika Fogel will be Chairman of the Internal Security Committee and Limor Son Har-Melech will be Chairman of the Special Committee for the Israeli Citizens’ Fund in rotation.


Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot responded to the news that Ben-Gvir would serve as National Security Minister by calling it a “Sad joke at the expense of Israeli citizens, as part of the negotiation games in which titles are invented for a political need regardless of reality and the needs of the state.”

The Negev and the Galilee Ministry will have expanded areas of operation, and it will be called the Development of the Negev and the Galilee and National Resilience Ministry.

The new office will be budgeted in the amount of two billion NIS per year, for the benefit of the development and empowerment of the Galilee and Negev, increasing growth engines in youth centers, caring for senior citizens, and carrying out national projects for the benefit of strengthening Israeli society, according to an Otzma Yehudit statement.

In addition, the director of planning in the Negev and the Galilee and National Resilience Ministry will be responsible for carrying out the regulation of all young settlements in Judea and Samaria in accordance with the decisions of a team of ministers led by the Prime Minister.

“I welcome the signing of the agreement with the Otzma Yehudit, which is the first agreement on the way to establishing a stable right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu that will march the state of Israel into good years,” MK Yariv Levin, the coordinator of the Likud’s negotiating team, said.

There are further differences of opinion between Otzma Yehudit and Likud regarding the regulation of young settlements, the implementation of the five-year law and various ideological issues, in addition to security affairs, law, governance and Jewish Identity.

Likud and Shas make progress, talks with Smotrich still at a deadlock

The Likud and Shas made progress in the talks between the parties to form the next government on Wednesday.

According to statements by both parties, Shas chairman Aryeh Deri will receive the Interior and Health Ministries, in addition to other portfolios for party members such as the religion portfolio to which former minister Yaakov Avitan is supposed to return, as well as two more portfolios. The parties aim to sign a joint principle agreement “as soon as possible.”

If the parties manage to agree on this, Smotrich will serve in the position for the first two years and then transfer the office to Deri and serve in his place in the Interior and Health Ministries. So far, the gaps with Smotrich are significant and the Likud hopes to bridge them with the progress with the rest of the coalition.

The possibility of rotation between Deri and the chairman of Religious Zionism, Bezalel Smotrich, on the finance portfolio is still being examined.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Netanyahu was creating a “private army” for Ben-Gvir in the West Bank and harming the defense establishment by widely distributing authority in the new agreement.

“The idea of ​​creating a ‘private army for Ben-Gvir in Judea and Samaria is dangerous for the exercise of power, and will create real security malfunctions,” said the defense minister.

Gantz additionally warned that splitting up the Civil Administration between the Defense Ministry and Public Security Ministry would bring “severe international pressure” on Israel for “de-facto annexation” without bringing any benefit.

The defense minister noted that seperating the defense establishment into fragments would also make cooperation and coordination difficult, causing “security chaos.”

Netanyahu knows that national security is the sum total of the state’s capabilities – security; military; diplomatic; legal; economic and social,” added Gantz. “Be that as it may – the national security with its components has one person in charge and he is the prime minister who is responsible for synchronizing all national efforts. One can only see Netanyahu’s move as an admission that the real prime minister will be Ben-Gvir.”



Arab Observer

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