Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu granted a right-wing extremist party the power to determine policies in the West Bank.
According to an agreement concluded last week by the right-wing Likud led by Netanyahu and the “religious Zionists” headed by Bezalel Smotrich, a minister in the Ministry of Defense from the “Religious Zionists” party will have a say in choosing the head of the Israeli Civil Administration and the coordinator of government activities in the West Bank, according to the newspaper. Hebrew Haaretz.
These two persons are responsible for implementing the Israeli government’s policies in everything related to the Palestinians and settlers in the West Bank.
This agreement comes at the expense of the powers of the Chief of Staff of the Israeli army, who is entrusted with choosing the head of the Civil Administration in the West Bank at the rank of major general, without interference from the government, while the Israeli Minister of Defense chooses the “coordinator” with the rank of brigadier general, who reports directly to him.
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And on Monday, Israeli media, including the Haaretz newspaper, said, “According to the agreement, it was agreed in principle that the prime minister, the defense minister, and a minister within the Ministry of Defense who will be appointed by Smotrich will have a greater influence on appointments.”
She added, “The Civil Administration is responsible for approving Palestinian building plans and building settlements in Area C, and the inspection department in the administration is responsible for detecting illegal construction and is the department that, among other things, dismantles illegal outposts.”
And she added, “The administration is also responsible for issuing work permits for Palestinian workers as well as liaising with the Palestinian Authority on issues related to security coordination and building infrastructure such as roads or the water network.”
Area C constitutes about 60% of the area of the West Bank and is witnessing escalating settlement activity, in parallel with Israel’s restrictions on Palestinian construction there.
Smotrich, a settler in the northern West Bank, supports settlement and annexes large parts of the West Bank to Israel, refuses to evacuate any illegal Israeli outposts, and opposes Palestinian construction in Area C.
And Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid considered that Netanyahu “has sold the army to the religious extremists.”
And he said in a tweet on Twitter, Monday: “According to the agreement between the Likud and religious Zionism, Smotrich will appoint the coordinator of activities in the Palestinian territories and the head of the Civil Administration, as they are appointed until today by the chief of staff. Netanyahu sold the Israeli army to the ultra-Orthodox.”
Lapid described this step as “dangerous political interference in Israel’s security and the ability of the Israeli army to operate.”
He added: “Such a decision will make Yoav Gallant the weakest defense minister in the country’s history even before he takes office.”
And the media had said that “Netanyahu intends to appoint Galant, a leader in the Likud party, as defense minister in the government he forms.”
And Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is working to form a right-wing government.