Middle East Monitor / February 5, 2023
Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has threatened to resign in protest of the policies of the Benjamin Netanyahu government, according to local media, Anadolu reports.
The private Channel 13, citing sources close to Ben-Gvir, said the far-right minister was critical of the government’s “lenient” response to rocket fire from Gaza and the slow evacuation of the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin community near East Jerusalem.
The sources said Ben-Gvir threatened to resign from his post if he failed to make a “major change” regarding these files.
“Ben-Gvir believes that he has partners [in the government] to make this change,” the sources added.
According to the sources, Ben-Gvir, however, is satisfied with the government’s response regarding some issues, including the closure of homes of Palestinians involved in attacks, home demolitions in East Jerusalem and the licensing of firearms to Israelis.
Israel says the Khan al-Ahmar is built on state-owned lands, an allegation denied by the 190 Palestinians who live in the community since the 1950s, after their expulsion from their lands in the Negev area in 1948.
Ben-Gvir holds far-right views on the Palestinians and has called for their displacement. He has repeatedly joined Jewish settlers in storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem.
In November, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in a leaked audio that “the whole world is worried” about Ben-Gvir’s far-right views.
Tension mounted across the Palestinian territories in recent days following an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin last week that left 10 Palestinians dead. Seven Israelis were also killed in a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem.