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Israel: major power struggle hits defence ministry

August 24, 2023 at 11:52 am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister in the Defense Ministry Bezalel Smotrich on 23 February, 2023 [@IsraeliPM/X]

A power struggle has emerged between Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich over the latter’s influence inside the ministry of defence.

Smotrich has a supervisory role for settlers within the ministry as part of his coalition deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. According to Walla, a dispute has arisen between the two ministers over construction works — which are illegal under international law — in the occupied West Bank.

This escalation, said a defence ministry official, has a negative affect on the evaluation of the Central Command for security issues, and causes “internal explosions”.

The official added that the tension may escalate into a “dangerous internal crisis” with a negative impact on international relations. No further details were provided.

READ: Major Israeli ministerial disagreements over formation of security agency