Netanyahu Appoints Bennett Defense Minister

MK Naftali Bennett. (Hadas Parush/Flash90/File)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed hard-line politician Naftali Bennett as defense minister in his caretaker government.

Ayelet Shaked of Bennett’s New Right party, a former justice minister, confirmed on Friday that the party accepted the defense portfolio for Bennett.

Bennett met Friday morning with Netanyahu in the Prime Minister’s office, where the agreement was made.

The appointment will need the government’s approval. Netanyahu’s Cabinet is to meet on Sunday.

The move appears aimed at shoring up opposition to attempts by Netanyahu’s chief rival, Benny Gantz, to form Israel’s next government.

Bennett agreed that if a new government, such as a broad unity government or a narrow government, will be formed, another person would be appointed as Defense Minister.

Gantz is in the process of trying to cobble a majority coalition after inconclusive elections in September and after Netanyahu had the first go but failed to put together a government.

Until now, Netanyahu has also held the post of defense minister.

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