Ben-Gvir implements Smotrich separation agreement in Knesset

Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich at the Knesset (Abir Sultan - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  November 19, 2022

The leader of the Otzma Yehudit party, Itamar Ben-Gvir, decided on Friday to submit a request to separate his party from the Religious Zionism party. This was an implementation of the agreement signed between himself and Religious Zionism party leader Bezalel Smotrich before the elections, according to which his party will serve as a separate faction in the Israeli Knesset.

Ben-Gvir indicated that he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and called on him to give in to Smotrich’s demands to become Defence minister. According to Ben-Gvir, Smotrich’s demand is legitimate and will enable the achievement of a full right-wing policy, as reported by Israel’s Ynet website.

Ben-Gvir, who is expected to oversee internal security, said he told Netanyahu to gather the right-wing bloc parties in a closed room to form a right-wing government as quickly as possible.

Last Wednesday, Ben-Gvir agreed with Netanyahu on a series of items, most of which relate to Jewish settlement in the West Bank, the legalization of 65 Jewish settlement outposts within 60 days of forming the government and the amendment of the disengagement law passed in 2005 to keep the Homesh settlement and establish a Jewish religious school.