Likud, the party of Israel's prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, reached on Friday an initial coalition agreement with the far-right Otzma Yehudit party that will see leader Itamar Ben-Gvir appointed the Minister for National Security.
As part of the deal, the Public Security Ministry is to be renamed the National Security Ministry and given several additional authorities.
"We took a big step tonight toward a full coalition agreement, toward forming a fully, fully right-wing government," Ben-Gvir said in the statement.
It is understood the post represents a version of the Public Security portfolio with an expanded purview that also includes the Real Estate Enforcement division and the West Bank Border Police division. Additionally, Ben-Gvir's party will be charged with Negev and Galilee ministry, which will now be decoupled from the Social Periphery Ministry.
After reports that Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, was struggling to put together a workable coalition, Ariel Kahana, senior diplomatic commentator at Israel Hayom, said earlier in the week that "the main obstacles to the coalition are behind us and Netanyahu more or less solved the main problems."
Shas leader Aryeh Deri is likely to receive the transportation and interior ministry portfolios. Deri served as interior minister from 2016 to 2021 under the previous Netanyahu-led government.
Reprinted with permission from i24NEWS.