Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu signed a first coalition deal with Israeli far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir, appointing him as the Minister of National Security, Israeli media reported on Friday.
“We took a big step tonight toward a full coalition agreement, toward forming a fully, fully right-wing government,” Mr. Ben-Gvir commented in a statement, after the deal was agreed.
The new National Security Ministry will be expanded as part of the deal, to include several enforcement authorities that were previously dispersed among different governmental offices, Isreali newspaper Haaretz reported.
Israeli far-right leader Itamar Ben-Gvir set to join new coalition https://t.co/8gXhohERjb
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) November 25, 2022
Likud and its religious and far-right allies marked a clear victory in Israel’s November 1 general election, ending nearly four years of political instability and setting Netanyahu on course for a political comeback as prime minister.
Ben-Gvir is an extreme far-right ultranationalist and the head of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) Party, which is in Bezalel Smotrich’s equally far-right Religious Zionism coalition. He was convicted in 2007 of racist incitement and support for Kach, a group that both Israel and the US designated as a terrorist organization.
(MEMO, PC, SOCIAL)