Israel’s Netanyahu puts hardliner in charge of settlements

Nov 30, 2022, 7:23 PM | Updated: Dec 1, 2022, 10:45 am
FILE-Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, center, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, left, far-ri...

FILE-Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, center, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, left, far-right Israeli lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich and leaders of all Israel's political parties pose for a group photo after the swearing-in ceremony for Israeli lawmakers at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Israel's designated prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced a coalition deal with a hardline pro-settler party on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. The agreement will give Religious Zionism control over a number of key government ministries and a senior post over West Bank settlement construction. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

(AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

              FILE - Israel's Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu arrives for the swearing-in ceremony of Israeli lawmakers at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Nov. 15, 2022. Netanyahu, Israel's designated prime minister, announced on Thursday, Dec. 1, a coalition deal that will give a hardline, pro-settler party control over a number of key government ministries and a senior role in overseeing the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)
            
              FILE-Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, center, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, left, far-right Israeli lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich and leaders of all Israel's political parties pose for a group photo after the swearing-in ceremony for Israeli lawmakers at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. Israel's designated prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has announced a coalition deal with a hardline pro-settler party on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. The agreement will give Religious Zionism control over a number of key government ministries and a senior post over West Bank settlement construction. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s designated prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday announced a coalition deal that will give a hardline, pro-settler party control over a number of key government ministries and a senior role in overseeing the construction of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The agreement with the Religious Zionism party marked an important breakthrough for Netanyahu as he tries to cobble together a government following Nov. 1 elections. But it also could set the stage for conflict with key allies, first and foremost the United States.

Netanyahu’s Likud Party said that Religious Zionism would share control over the Finance Ministry, run the government ministry in charge of immigration and head a new ministry for “national missions.”

It said a party member would also hold a special ministerial level post in the Defense Ministry in charge of settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, in coordination with Netanyahu.

“This is a significant additional step that nears us toward the formation of a right-wing, national government,” Netanyahu said.

The deal also gives Religious Zionism control of a parliamentary committee expected to approve sweeping reforms in the country’s legal system. These are expected to include changes that could freeze or dismiss criminal charges against Netanyahu.

Bezalel Smotrich, chairman of the Religious Zionism party, called the deal a “historic step.”

He said the emerging government would “restore security and governance, promote historic reform in the legal system, regulate and develop the settlement enterprise, strengthen Jewish identity in the spirit of religious Zionism and proudly wave the flag of Zionism.”

Smotrich is a leader of the West Bank settlement movement and is seeking a massive increase in construction of Jewish housing in occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians for their future state. The international community, including the U.S., overwhelmingly considers settlement construction illegal or illegitimate.

Netanyahu and his hardline allies captured a majority of seats in Nov. 1 parliamentary elections, putting him in a position to form a new government.

He has reached deals with two other hardline religious factions. Itamar Ben-Gvir, an extremist politician known for his anti-Arab rhetoric and provocative stunts, will be national security minister and oversee the country’s police force. And Avi Maoz, known for his anti-LGBTQ views and disparaging remarks about non-Orthodox Jews, will be in charge of “Jewish identity.”

Netanyahu will now turn his attention to a pair of ultra-Orthodox parties as he seeks to complete the formation of his coalition government.

Netanyahu has until midnight on Dec. 11 to form a government, though he can seek an additional two weeks from the country’s ceremonial president.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Zoubin Ghahramani, vice president of research at Google, speaks at the Google AI@ event on W...
Associated Press

Google has the next move as Microsoft embraces OpenAI buzz

Before the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was unleashed into the world, the novelist Robin Sloan was testing a similar AI writing assistant built by researchers at Google.
13 hours ago
budgets...
Associated Press

Group’s lawsuit seeks to void Washington transportation law

A conservative legal advocacy organization is suing to halt the nearly $17 billion transportation funding bill passed by the Washington Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee last year.
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Dance hall 911 caller: ‘He might start shooting again’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gunman had fired his first deadly shots outside a dance hall when Monterey Park police got a call for help from a man trying to make sense of what happened to his partner sitting in the car next to him. “Is your girlfriend awake?” the dispatcher asked. “I’m not sure,” […]
2 days ago
Cricket Hall speaks against a bill that would ban gender-affirming surgery and hormone therapy for ...
Associated Press

Crowds decry gender-affirming treatment ban in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Crowds at the West Virginia state Capitol pleaded with lawmakers Thursday to show as much compassion for saving the lives of transgender children as they showed for unborn fetuses when they voted to ban abortion just months ago. Over and over, dozens of doctors, parents and LGBTQ people told the Republican […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for March delivery fell 53 cents to $75.88 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude for April delivery fell 67 cents to $82.17 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for March delivery was unchanged at $2.45 a gallon. March heating oil fell 5 cents $2.90 a gallon. March natural gas fell 1 cent to $2.46 […]
2 days ago
Associated Press

1 dead, officer wounded in shooting at Memphis library

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A shooting at a Tennessee library on Thursday left one person dead and a police officer “critically” wounded, authorities said. Officers were called to the Poplar-White Station Library around 12:30 p.m., the Memphis Police Department tweeted. Both the person and the officer were shot, police said. The person was pronounced dead […]
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Israel’s Netanyahu puts hardliner in charge of settlements