Likud Reaches Key Deal Giving Religious Zionism Control Over Finance Ministry, West Bank Settlements

Likud Reaches Key Deal Giving Religious Zionism Control Over Finance Ministry, West Bank Settlements
Likud Reaches Key Deal Giving Religious Zionism Control Over Finance Ministry, West Bank Settlements

Political Editor with files from sputniknews:

Arabnews24.ca:Thursday 1 December 2022 03:14 PM: https://sputniknews.com/20221201/likud-reaches-key-deal-giving-religious-zionism-control-over-finance-ministry-west-bank-settlements-1104948122.html

Likud Reaches Key Deal Giving Religious Zionism Control Over Finance Ministry, West Bank Settlements

Likud Reaches Key Deal Giving Religious Zionism Control Over Finance Ministry, West Bank Settlements

Fears that Israel’s designated prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would be unable to form a coalition majority after elections last month have been allayed... 01.12.2022, Sputnik International

2022-12-01T20:08+0000

2022-12-01T20:08+0000

2022-12-01T20:05+0000

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itamar ben-gvir

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bezalel smotrich

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Arrival at the deal means Netanyahu’s fragile coalition will likely survive. Religious Zionism’s Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir of Otzima Yehudit both made substantial demands, threatening to leave the alliance if they weren’t met.Power will be shared in both cases, with Smotrich sharing the finance ministry with Aryeh Deri, leader of the Sephardi Haredi party Shas.Smotrich’s party will also get control over the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in the Knesset, giving them influence over judicial reforms, which are high on the party’s agenda.The outgoing Public Security Minister, Omer Barlev, has sharply criticized his successor’s political agenda, warning that his anti-Arab policies could spark a harsh reaction from Palestinians.“This is clear to me and also to Netanyahu, but we have seen that his considerations are frequently personal,” he added.Since the West Bank and East Jerusalem were seized by Israeli forces in the 1967 Six-Day War, Jewish settlement there have steadily expanded, with Palestinian-Arab families being evicted in the process, although Jews remain the minority in both territories. Israel extends the benefits and protections of citizenship to those settlers, but not to the Palestinians there, prompting comparisons with the Apartheid system of white supremacy that prevailed in South Africa before 1994. The United Nations has denounced Israeli control over the territories as illegal.

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Fears that Israel’s designated prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would be unable to form a coalition majority after elections last month have been allayed, as news broke on Wednesday that Likud had reached a deal with Religious Zionism (Tkuma), a far-right party key to Netanyahu’s majority.

Arrival at the deal means Netanyahu’s fragile coalition will likely survive. Religious Zionism’s Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir of Otzima Yehudit both made substantial demands, threatening to leave the alliance if they weren’t met.

Under the terms of the deal, Religious Zionism will gain control over parts of the Israeli finance ministry for two years, as well as Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the part of the defense ministry responsible for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, according to Israeli media.

Power will be shared in both cases, with Smotrich sharing the finance ministry with Aryeh Deri, leader of the Sephardi Haredi party Shas.

Smotrich’s party will also get control over the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in the Knesset, giving them influence over judicial reforms, which are high on the party’s agenda.

Ben-Gvir, Smotrich’s close ally, has also used his leverage over the coalition’s viability to win key government appointments, including becoming Minister of Public Security.

The outgoing Public Security Minister, Omer Barlev, has sharply criticized his successor’s political agenda, warning that his anti-Arab policies could spark a harsh reaction from Palestinians.

“If there is a change in the status quo on the Temple Mount there will be a third intifada,” Barlev said on Thursday, referring to two previous Palestinian uprisings in the 1990s and 2000s. Ben-Gvir has publicly called for the Muslim holy sites there, including the Dome of the Rock, to be leveled.

“This is clear to me and also to Netanyahu, but we have seen that his considerations are frequently personal,” he added.

Since the West Bank and East Jerusalem were seized by Israeli forces in the 1967 Six-Day War, Jewish settlement there have steadily expanded, with Palestinian-Arab families being evicted in the process, although Jews remain the minority in both territories. Israel extends the benefits and protections of citizenship to those settlers, but not to the Palestinians there, prompting comparisons with the Apartheid system of white supremacy that prevailed in South Africa before 1994. The United Nations has denounced Israeli control over the territories as illegal.

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