Under a coalition agreement with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, Israel’s far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir will become the police minister, ushering in the most right-wing administration in the nation’s history. The agreement was reached after Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition easily won Israel’s fifth parliamentary election in less than four years this month.
Regarding the formation of the new government, Netanyahu is still in discussion with three other parties.
In a statement released early on Friday, Ben-Gvir said, “We took a big step (last night) towards a full coalition agreement, toward forming a fully, fully right-wing government.”
Ben-Gvir, who was found guilty in 2007 of inciting racism against Arabs and supporting a group regarded as a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States, will be in charge of the Border Police in the occupied West Bank as part of his enlarged security responsibilities.
The transaction with Ben-Gvir, according to the Palestinian authority’s foreign affairs ministry, would obstruct the resumption of talks between the two parties, which broke down in 2014, and have a “potentially catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
The accord, which grants Ben-Gvir a post in the security cabinet of the Israeli government, comes after months of unrest in the West Bank following a bloody army assault in response to a string of deadly attacks by Palestinian terrorists within Israel.
(with inputs from agencies)