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Gantz warns of chaos over power given to Ben-Gvir

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz [Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency]
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz [Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency]

Outgoing Defence Minister Benny Gantz warned on Friday of chaos in Israel over making the head of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, Itamar Ben-Gvir, the de-facto prime minister.

Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is allowing Ben-Gvir to become the de facto premier in the next government, after signing an agreement with him that grants him an expanded security role.

"Establishing a private army for Ben-Gvir in [the occupied West Bank] is dangerous… and will create real security failures," Gantz argued.

Ben-Gvir, according to the deal, will be given the new title of national security minister and will be in charge of the national police force, in addition to overseeing the Border Police's West Bank Division.

Gantz also warned that Netanyahu's reported decision to transfer control of the Civil Administration (the Defence Ministry body that governs the occupied West Bank) to the Finance Ministry, under Religious Zionism chairperson Bezalel Smotrich, will lead to criticism from the international community that Israel is carrying out "de-facto annexation".

"The dismantlement of the government's powers into fragments of ministries based on political needs and the dismantlement of operational frameworks in the IDF will damage the functionality of the IDF and the police," it is reported that Gantz expressed on Friday.

"Netanyahu's conduct is an admission that the real prime minister is going to be Ben-Gvir," he added.

READ: Former Shin Bet chief expects 'dangerous' escalation between Israel, Palestine

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