Days of Palestine

Thursday, March 23

Netanyahu Agrees to Transfer West Bank Authority to Smotrich

Netanyahu Agrees to Transfer West Bank Authority to Smotrich
M.Y | DOP -

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alongside the Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, inked on Thursday an agreement on the distribution of duties at the Defense Ministry, which Smotrich also serves in.

According to a combined statement, the particulars of the agreement, which have not been revealed to the public, detail the power each side holds over the Civil Administration and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, in accordance with the terms agreed upon between the coalition parties.

Last week, it was reported that Netanyahu had assured Smotrich that he would be given control over the Defense Ministry‘s Civil Administration right away.

The move came after Smotrich criticized the Civil Administration for wanting to demolish an illegal Jewishowned olive grove and orchard in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu gave Smotrich power over the Civil Administration divisions, which is in charge of authorizing illegal settlement building schemes and carrying out enforcement against Palestinian constructions.

Last month, Gallant disregarded Smotrich‘s demand to cease the demolition of an illegal Israeli outpost. This decision resulted in a rift between Gallant and Smotrich, who, in response, had his Religious Zionism Party not take part in the following Cabinet assembly.

Smotrich warned Netanyahu last week that if he did not immediately turn over full control of the Civil Administration, as promised in the coalition agreement, it could jeopardize the stability of the government.

The new Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and of an extreme rightwing ideology, is promoting a considerable settlement plan to relocate more than one million Jewish settlers into the West Bank, which is under Israeli occupation.