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Israel Netanyahu reaches coalition deal with far-right religious Zionism party

Former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at on November 1, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Former Israeli Prime Minister and Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at on November 1, 2022 in Jerusalem, Israel [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister-designate, Benjamin Netanyahu, reached a coalition deal with the far-right Religious Zionism party, bringing him closer to securing a new government after an election last month, Netanyahu's Likud party said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Religious Zionism will be given, among other portfolios, control of the Finance Ministry as part of a rotation, Likud said, though it did not provide details on how the rotation would work.

Israeli Army Radio reported that Bezalel Smotrich, who heads Religious Zionism, would serve as Finance Minister at the outset and will then be replaced.

His party, which opposes Palestinian statehood and supports Israeli settlements, will also be given authority over Jewish settlement activity in the Occupied West Bank, though it will be in coordination with Netanyahu, the Likud statement said.

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