Netanyahu finalizes deals with all parties in far-right government

Jerusalem, Dec 8 (EFE).- Israel’s prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has secured coalition agreements with all of the parties that make up far-right alliance he leads to form a new government after signing a deal with the ultra-Orthodox Shas party early Thursday morning.

The deal brings Netanyahu closer to forming what is expected to be most far-right and religious government in the nation’s history.

“I thank my partner, Rabbi Aryeh Deri, for forging the agreements,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“We completed another step on the way to establishing a right-wing government that will act for the benefit and well-being of all the citizens of the State of Israel,” he added.

According to the agreement, Deri will serve as the interior and health minister in the first period of two years before swapping positions with the leader of the Religious Zionism party, Bezalel Smotrich, who will hold the role of finance minister.

Netanyahu, who ruled Israel for a total of 15 years, emerged as the winner in the November 1 parliamentary elections with 64 of 120 seats, thanks to right-wing allies such as Smotrich, anti-Arab Jewish Power party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir and head of anti-LGBT Noam faction Avi Maoz.

Ben-Gvir is set to take on the newly created role of national security minister, while Maoz will serve as a deputy minister in Netanyahu’s office.

After handing out cabinet posts among his five allied parties, Netanyahu will assign the remaining ministries (foreign affairs, defense, justice, education, transportation, economy, and culture) to fellow Likud lawmakers.

The deadline for forming a new government expires next week, but the former prime minister is expected to ask for an extension.EFE


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