Left Outraged After Smotrich Secures Foothold in Civil Administration Powers


IDF soldiers are seen at the scene of a shooting near the community of Shavei Shomron, on Oct. 11. (Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid slammed Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu after Yisrael Hayom reported that he agreed to hand over effective control over key powers in the Civil Administration to the Religious Zionist Party, granting his future coalition partners unprecedented influence over appointments relating to the control of Yehudah and Shomron.

“If these appointments of the coordinator for government activities in the territories and the head of the Civil Administration are going to be expropriated from the Defense Ministry, this would be blatant and dangerous political meddling in Israel’s security and the IDF’s freedom of action,” Lapid posted. “This decision would make the next defense minister the most weakened defense minister in Israel’s history even before he is sworn in.”

Under the reported deal, the Religious Zionist Party would get to have a minister within the Defense Ministry who would decide on the two key appointments, which have a direct impact on the daily lives of both Jews and Arabs in Yehudah and Shomron.

The deal, which is part of the over-arching coalition pact aimed at securing enough support ahead of the crucial vote in the Knesset to swear in Netanyahu as prime minister, has a clause that should ensure that such appointments are cleared with the prime minister, although the defense minister – who is in charge of the IDF as the de facto sovereign in those areas – appears to be stripped of those powers.

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