Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu moved one step closer on Tuesday toward establishing a government after the Israeli parliament approved divisive legislation agreed with his far-right coalition partners, Reuters news agency reported.
Despite a clear election win in November for his right-wing and religious bloc of parties, it has taken Netanyahu almost two months to reach deals with his allies, who have demanded a significant share of power in return for their support.
Tuesday’s amendments to Israel’s government law will ultimately enable the pro-settler Religious Zionism party to take up the post of the defense ministry, granting it broad authority over the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to Reuters.
A second amendment will allow Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, to serve as a minister despite a conviction for tax fraud. Deri is expected to serve as finance minister in two years, in a rotation deal with Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich.
Netanyahu is expected to swear in his new government on December 29 after advancing legislation to grant new powers over the police to Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of the ultra-nationalist Jewish Power party, as a national security minister.
(The New Arab, PC, SOCIAL)