Likud, Otzma Yehudit Reach Coalition Deal

MK Itamar Ben Gvir. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister-elect Binyamin Netanyahu and Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir signed a coalition agreement early Friday after a week-long delay in negotiations due to disagreements over ministerial roles.

Ben-Gvir will hold a special three-fold position of public affairs minister, and will not go by the title national affairs minister, Negev and Galilee minister and heritage minister.

In addition, the Ministry for the Development of the Negev will be expanded and Ben-Gvir will also be in charge of regulation outposts in Yehudah and Shomron.

“We took an important step to establish a full right-wing government,” Ben-Gvir said after the signing. “I am happy that the agreement allows us to realize our election promises: for the security and strengthening of the Negev, the Galilee and the periphery.”

Otzma Yehudit’s Yitzchak Wasserlauf will receive the Negev and the Galilee Ministry, which will be split from the Social Periphery Ministry, and the Heritage Ministry. Amichai Eliyahu will be the heritage minister.

Almog Cohen will be the deputy economy minister, Zvika Fogel will be Chairman of the Internal Security Committee and Limor Son Har-Melech will be Chairman of the Special Committee for the Israeli Citizens’ Fund in rotation.

The Negev and the Galilee Ministry will have expanded areas of operation, and it will be called the Development of the Negev and the Galilee and National Resilience Ministry.

The new office will be budgeted in the amount of NIS 2 billion per year, for the benefit of the development and empowerment of the Galilee and Negev, increasing growth engines in youth centers, caring for senior citizens, and carrying out national projects for the benefit of strengthening Israeli society, according to an Otzma Yehudit statement.

In addition, the director of planning in the Negev and the Galilee and National Resilience Ministry will be responsible for carrying out the regulation of all young settlements in Judea and Samaria in accordance with the decisions of a team of ministers led by the Prime Minister.

“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 Binyamin Netanyahu that will march the state of Israel into good years,” MK Yariv Levin, the coordinator of the Likud’s negotiating team, said.

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