Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has signed its first deal with the far-right Jewish Power party, giving ultranationalist leader Itamar Ben-Gvir the police ministry and a seat in the defense ministry.
“We have taken steps tonight to reach a full agreement, to establish a right-wing government,” Ben-Gvir said on Friday.
Netanyahu’s Likud and its religious and right-wing allies won comfortably in Israel’s November 1 election, seemingly ending nearly four years of political instability.
The agreement does not specify a new full and final government, as negotiations with the union organizations continue. But it shows slow and steady progress toward the establishment of what appears to be the most appropriate government in Israel’s history.
Under the deal, Ben-Gvir – who until last year was known as a far-right Palestinian religious activist – will take on the newly created role of national security minister.
He will also have control over the Israeli Border Police unit in the West Bank which is under the Ministry of Defense, the Times of Israel reported.
In addition, he has taken on several newly created positions and positions, including one related to the development of the Naqab desert (Negev), another as a deputy minister in the Ministry of Finance, and the chairman of the Public Security Committee of the Israeli parliament. , or the Knesset.
The agreement also includes an agreement to establish national guards and increase the reinforcement of the Border Police, the Israeli newspaper said.
There will also be a relaxation of the rules around the southern border to allow opening fire against “thugs caught stealing weapons from military bases”.
It is not known what the effect of the change in the law will be, because the military was already given the opportunity to shoot last year.
Ben-Gvir’s record includes a 2007 conviction for promoting discrimination against Arabs and supporting terrorism, as well as anti-LGBTQ.
He says he is no longer advocating the deportation of all Palestinians – only those he considers “rebels” or “terrorists”.
An illegal settler living in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, Ben-Gvir opposes a Palestinian state.
He also supports Jewish prayer in the Al-Aqsa mosque, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, against the way the site was built, and the Jewish opposition of the Orthodox religion to pray there.
An increase in right-wing Jews attempting to pray at the site, guarded by Israeli soldiers, has angered Palestinians and sparked violent clashes.
The inclusion of far-right figures in the coalition government has worried Israel’s Western allies, according to Israeli President Isaac Herzog, whose speech was captured by a microphone that appears to have been turned off.
Since winning a seat in the Knesset, Ben-Gvir has pulled a gun on Palestinian protesters in Tel Aviv – while being questioned by the police – and argued with lawmaker Ayman Odeh, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, when Odeh stopped him. in the hospital room of a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike.
Last month, Ben-Gvir visited the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Israeli authorities are trying to evict Palestinian families, and a group of settlers who slashed the tires of Palestinian cars and tried to destroy a family home.
When the Palestinians responded by throwing stones, he pulled out a gun, even though there were police on the scene.
Ben-Gvir says the hands of the Israeli police and army are tied and he wants to loosen the law to allow them to shoot Palestinians who throw stones – but not Jews who do the same.