Last Update 21:41
Sunday, 21 July 2019

Israel cabinet okays far-right Lieberman as defence minister

AFP , Monday 30 May 2016
Netanyahu  & Lieberman
File Photo: Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu and former foreign minister Lieberman (Photo: Reuters)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1153
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1153

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet on Monday approved the entry of ultra-nationalist Avigdor Lieberman to the ruling coalition as defence minister, after defusing opposition from another partner, the government said.

The religious nationalist party Jewish Home had planned to block the addition of Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party by voting against it in parliament, possibly sparking fresh elections, unless demands for procedural reform were met.

"The cabinet unanimously approved the appointment of Avigdor Lieberman as minister of defence," a statement from Netanyahu's office said.

It added that Yisrael Beitenu's Sofa Landver was approved as minister of immigrant absorption.

The deal is expected to be approved by parliament later on Monday, with the new ministers to take their oaths of office.

The prime minister's office said that as part of the reshuffle, veteran Likud MP Tzachi Hanegbi, chairman of parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee, would become a minister without portfolio.

Netanyahu and Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett reached a compromise on Sunday night after mediation by a third party, a Likud statement said.

Jewish Home holds eight parliamentary seats, enough to block Netanyahu's proposed new line-up.

If approved by parliament, the deal would create what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israel's history.

Jewish Home had demanded the creation of a military liaison for the government's security cabinet, a smaller forum of cabinet members which decides on matters of national security.

Bennett says such a post is needed to avoid security cabinet members being kept in the dark on important developments, pointing to aspects of the 2014 conflict with Palestinian in Gaza, among other concerns.

Under the compromise brokered by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, of the United Torah Judaism alliance of ultra-Orthodox parties, security cabinet members will receive frequent personal briefings from Israel's National Security Council as an interim measure, while a committee of experts looks at ways to improve procedure.

While some analysts say such a change is needed, Bennett's demand is also seen as political manoeuvring ahead of the next general election, due by 2019 at the latest.

Bennett is widely seen as aspiring to replace Netanyahu, whose Likud party is currently the largest in parliament.

Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu party will add five lawmakers to Netanyahu's previous razor-thin majority, giving it 66 of the 120 in parliament.

The move to hand the defence ministry to the 57-year-old hardliner has sparked deep concern among Israeli centrist and left-wing politicians, as well as among some of Netanyahu's Likud colleagues.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.