Middle East Monitor / October 2, 2023
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu excluded National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir from security discussions attended by most senior Israeli security officials on Sunday, it has been reported. Ben-Gvir’s position includes authority over the police, but this was not a reason for Netanyahu to invite him to the meeting.
“Ben-Gvir has a habit of making problematic proposals”
According to the Times of Israel, this is not the first time that this has happened. Far-right extremist Ben Gvir has been left out of top-level security meetings before. Ynet reported informed sources as saying that the reason for not inviting him was that Ben-Gvir has a habit of making problematic proposals.
Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet security service chief Ronen Bar and senior generals from the army who hold much lower positions than Ben-Gvir, apparently attended the meeting yesterday.
“The security challenges in all theatres, with an emphasis on Iran, were deliberated during the meeting,” said Netanyahu’s office, which denied any rift between the prime minister and Ben-Gvir. “The deliberations were focused on Iran and did not deal with any internal security issues. Any attempt to create a conflict between the prime minister and the national security minister and to attribute it purportedly to sources close to the prime minister are completely false, and done on purpose.”
Netanyahu’s office insisted that, “The prime minister and Minister Ben-Gvir will continue to work fully together for the good of every citizen of Israel.”
Reports have stated repeatedly that Ben-Gvir has not been invited to several high-level meetings over fears that he will leak to the media or otherwise compromise classified information.