Netanyahu's controversial concessions to Israel govt partners

Published: 08:52 PM, 29 Dec, 2022
Netanyahu's controversial concessions to Israel govt partners
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Israel's newly sworn-in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has granted major concessions to far-right and ultra-Orthodox allies to cement a coalition following last month's election, the country's fifth in less than four years.

The agreements, published by the Knesset, or parliament, on Wednesday, have already prompted an outcry among Israel's opposition, since they radically alter long-standing policy on defence, security, education and justice.

Here are the most controversial deals he cut and legislation he pledged, in order to return to power after an absence of less than two years and form what analysts describe as the most right-wing government in Israel's history.

- Defence and Security -

- Bezalel Smotrich, head of the extreme-right Religious Zionism formation, will oversee civilian affairs in the occupied West Bank from a newly created second ministerial post in the defence ministry. Outgoing defence minister Benny Gantz warned the new post could weaken Israel's security.

- Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of the far-right Jewish Power party, will become national security minister with power to direct general policy for the police and define its "general principles of action", with his ministry getting an additional budget of 45 billion shekels ($12.8 billion) over seven years.

- New legislation proposing the death penalty for those convicted of "terrorism" is to be submitted to the Knesset by Jewish Power before the 2023 budget.

- West Bank, Palestinians -

- Government recognition of illegal outposts established in the West Bank without government approval within 60 days.

- Jewish settlers in the West Bank will no longer be under military rule, but instead a civilian arm of the defence ministry.

- Justice -

- On Tuesday, legislation was passed allowing anyone convicted of offences but not given a custodial sentence to serve as a minister, enabling Aryeh Deri of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, who had previously pleaded guilty to tax offences, to serve as health and interior minister.

- Relations between state and religion -

- Proposed changes in Israel's "Law of Return" would tighten the criteria for obtaining Israeli nationality.

- A new law would permit businesses to refuse to provide services on religious grounds.

- The budgets of Yeshivas, Jewish religious schools, to be included in the state budget.

- Annulment of religious reforms carried out by the outgoing government.

- Legislation authorising the segregation of men and women in public spaces.

- Education -

- Creation of a "national Jewish identity" directorate with a deputy minister responsible for external programmes at the education ministry. The post will be held by Avi Maoz, leader of the anti-LGBTQ Noam party.

Categories : World

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