Israeli Prime Minister-Designate Signs First Coalition Deal

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party signed its first coalition deal with Itamar Ben-Gvir’s far-right Jewish Power party, Likud said in a statement on Friday.

The agreement, which does not account for a full and final new government in Israel, gives Ben-Gvir the police ministry and a seat in the security cabinet.

“We took a big step tonight toward a full coalition agreement, toward forming a fully, fully right-wing government,” Ben-Gvir said in the statement.

Netanyahu’s Likud and its religious and far-right allies marked a clear victory in Israel’s Nov. 1 election, ending nearly four years of political instability. His efforts to quickly form a government have hit roadblocks, however, as negotiations with coalition partners drag on.

The incoming government looks to be the most right-wing in Israel’s history, forcing Netanyahu into a diplomatic balancing act between his coalition and Western allies.

A settler living in the West Bank, which Israel occupied in a 1967 Middle East war, Ben-Gvir is opposed to Palestinian statehood.

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