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PA warns of coalition deal between Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir

Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the Otzma Yehudit Party and right-wing member of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), in Jerusalem on October 28, 2022 Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]
Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the Otzma Yehudit Party and right-wing member of Knesset (Israel’s Parliament), in Jerusalem. [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) warned on Friday of the consequences of the deal between Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and head of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, Itamar Ben-Gvir.

In a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, the PA warned of: "Possible disastrous consequences of the deal on the conflict, as well as on the relationship between the PA and Israel."

The PA noted: "The attacks of the armed settler militias started to take a social and organised nature in light of feeling protected and supported by officials following the last Israeli election. This will incentivise them to carry out more crimes against the Palestinians, their land, property and holy sites."
The statement added: "The new authority given to Ben-Gvir gives him and his followers the power over the occupied Palestinian land, settlement and illegal outposts."

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In the statement, the PA called for the international community to bear responsibility for the developments in the Israeli arena and put pressure on the Israeli government to ensure it will not carry out an "extremist agenda".

On Friday, Netanyahu reached a deal with Ben-Gvir through which the latter is to serve in the newly created position of National Security — an expanded public security minister role that includes oversight of the Israeli national police and Border Police in the occupied West Bank.

In addition to the National Security Ministry, The Times of Israel reported that Ben-Gvir's party will run an expanded version of the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, the newly created Heritage Ministry, the Knesset's Public Security Committee, the Knesset Special Committee for the Israeli Citizens' Fund and the post of deputy economy minister.

Otzma Yehudit party member Yitzhak Wasserlauf will head the Negev and Galilee Ministry, and Amichai Eliyahu will take on the Heritage Ministry portfolio.
The Negev and Galilee Ministry will receive an annual budget of NIS 2 billion ($580 million) and will also be responsible for carrying out the regulation of new West Bank settlements.

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