Israel’s Netanyahu returns to power with extreme-right government

JERUSALEM: hawkish veteran Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as primary minister on Thursday (Dec 29) soon after a stint in opposition, heading what analysts connect with the most right-wing authorities in the country’s heritage.

Netanyahu, 73, who is combating corruption fees in court docket, had by now served as leading for a longer time than everyone in Israeli background, major the nation from 1996-1999 and 2009-2021.

“This is the sixth time I’m presenting a authorities that I’m heading to get parliament’s guidance, and I am fired up like the very first time,” Netanyahu told the Knesset in advance of his swearing-in ceremony.

Parliament voted to approve his federal government and elected former minister Amir Ohana as the Knesset’s speaker, the initially brazenly gay occupant of the put up.

Netanyahu, who casts himself as the guarantor of his country’s stability, pressured that his best intention would be “to thwart Iran’s attempts to establish a nuclear weapons arsenal” and “make certain Israel’s military superiority in the region”.

But he also voiced hopes of “growing the circle of peace with Arab countries” next US-brokered normalisation agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

Previous Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen, an architect of the normalisation agreements, was named as overseas minister.

Netanyahu was ousted in June 2021 by a motley coalition of leftists, centrists and Arab functions headed by appropriate-winger Naftali Bennett and previous Television news anchor Yair Lapid. It did not take him lengthy to occur back.

Pursuing his Nov 1 election win, Netanyahu entered into talks with ultra-Orthodox and intense-correct functions, amid them Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism development and Itamar Ben-Gvir’s Jewish Ability occasion.

Both of those have a history of inflammatory remarks about Palestinians.

Smotrich will now get demand of Israeli settlement coverage in the West Bank, and Ben-Gvir will be the national stability minister with powers around the police, which also operates in the territory occupied by Israel since 1967.


Senior stability officials have presently voiced worry about the new government’s way – as have Palestinians.

“It gets for Netanyahu’s companions a aspiration federal government,” reported Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute believe-tank.

“And 1 side’s desire is the other side’s nightmare. This federal government is anticipated to acquire the state on a fully new trajectory.”

US Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken warned that Washington would oppose settlement enlargement as perfectly as any bid to annex the West Financial institution.

But in a statement of plan priorities introduced Wednesday, Netanyahu’s Likud get together stated the government will pursue settlement expansion.

About 475,000 Jewish settlers – amid them Smotrich and Ben-Gvir – are living there in settlements considered unlawful under international regulation.

Analysts said Netanyahu offered the serious-correct broad concessions in the hope he may well acquire judicial immunity or cancellation of his corruption demo.

Smotrich and Ben-Gvir “have a quite sturdy thirst for energy”, and their priority continues to be the expansion of West Bank settlements, reported Denis Charbit, professor of political science at Israel’s Open up College.

The government is the consequence of “Netanyahu’s political weak spot, linked to his age and his trial, and the actuality that you have a new political loved ones of the groundbreaking ideal that we experienced by no means viewed with this strength in Israel”, Charbit extra.


Ben-Gvir has regularly frequented Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound, the 3rd-holiest site in Islam. It is also Judaism’s holiest, recognised as the Temple Mount.

Under a historic status quo, non-Muslims can stop by the sanctuary but may not pray there. Palestinians would see a pay a visit to by a serving Israeli minister as a provocation.

“If Ben-Gvir as minister goes to Al-Aqsa, it will be a massive red line and it will direct to an explosion,” claimed Basem Naim, a senior formal with the Islamist movement Hamas which procedures the Gaza Strip.

Israel and Hamas fought a war in Could 202l. This yr, other Gaza militants and Israel exchanged rocket and missile hearth for three times in August.

In the West Bank, violence has surged this yr and quite a few are afraid of more unrest.

“I think that if the government acts in an irresponsible way, it could trigger a stability escalation,” outgoing Defence Minister Benny Gantz claimed on Tuesday, expressing panic above the “extremist route” of the incoming administration.