JERUSALEM ( Associated Press) — Itamar Ben-Gvir, a right-wing extremist politician with a long history of anti-Arab rhetoric and protests, will be the next national security minister, a deal expected to be struck by the former premier. Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party will form the government coalition.
Likud announced an agreement on Friday with Ben Gvir’s Jewish Power party.
Talks are underway with three other potential far-right and ultra-conservative coalition partners. If he is successful, Netanyahu would once again be the prime minister at the head of the most right-wing and religious government in Israel’s history.
Giving Ben Gvir such a sensitive role raises fears of a new escalation of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Ben Gvir and his allies hope to provide immunity to Israeli soldiers who fire on Palestinians, deport opposition lawmakers and impose the death penalty on Palestinians convicted of attacks on Jews.
Ben-Gvir is a disciple of the racist Rabbi Meir Kahane, who has been excluded from parliament and whose Kach party was designated a terrorist group by the United States. Kahane was assassinated in New York in 1990.
before the election on 1 November. Ben Gvir made headlines for speeches against Palestinians and for brandishing a gun and for encouraging police to shoot stone-throwing Palestinians in a tense Jerusalem neighborhood, among other protests.
Before becoming a lawyer and politician, he was convicted of inciting racism, supporting a terrorist organization, and other crimes.