Likud, Otzma Yehudit reach deal: Ben-Gvir to get new role of National Security Minister

The full agreement is not yet signed but as of now, Itamar Ben-Gvir will have control of Border Police in Judea and Samaria. 

By World Israel News Staff

Likud and Otzma Yehudit reached an agreement early on Friday on the party’s roles in the incoming government, with Itamar Ben-Gvir to serve in the newly created position of National Security Minister, essentially an expanded version of public security minister.

“We took an important step tonight to establish a full right-wing government. The return of security to the streets is a concern for the Negev and the Galilee and the national resilience for senior citizens and youth centers as well as for the heritage sites in Israel. I am happy that the agreement on the ministries that Otzma Yehudit will receive will allow us to realize our election promises — for the security and strengthening of the Negev, the Galilee and the periphery,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement.

Among the portfolios the party received are Negev and Galilee Ministry, which will be held by Isaac Vaserlauf and have a projected budget of two billion NIS per year, and the Heritage Ministry, with Amichai Eliyahu becoming the new heritage minister. Almog Cohen will become the new deputy economy minister, Zvika Fogel will be Chairman of the Internal Security Committee and Limor Son Har-Melech will be Chairperson-in-rotation of the Special Committee for the Israeli Citizens’ Fund.

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The newly formed National Security Ministry will take over control of the Border Police in Judea and Samaria from the Defense Ministry, but the Public Security Ministry will still be involved in that division.

An “expanded southern law” will allow IDF soldiers to shoot at thieves caught stealing arms from military bases.

“I welcome the signing of the agreement with the Otzma Yehudit, which is the first agreement on the way to establishing a stable right-wing government led by Benjamin Netanyahu that will march the state of Israel into good years,” MK Yariv Levin, coordinator of Likud’s negotiating team, said.

Shas is also close to securing a coalition deal with Likud, with the ultra-Orthodox party receiving the Interior Ministry as well as the health and welfare portfolios.

Negotiations between Likud and the Religious Zionism party are still at an impasse, but the possibility of a rotation deal between Deri and Religious Zionism head Bezalel Smotrich on the finance portfolio is being explored.