It was announced on Friday that Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the far-right Jewish Power party, will be Israel’s new public security minister. His appointment was decided thanks to an agreement between the parties of the right-wing coalition that won the recent elections, led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
It was expected that Ben-Gvir could play an important role in the new government, especially given the good result of his party in the elections, but it was rather surprising for many that he was entrusted with the Ministry of Public Security. It is in fact a very important ministry, which will first of all give Ben-Gvir control of the national police, but also that of the border police between Israel and the West Bank – a territory which is partly under the control of the Palestinian Authority and partly under that of Israel – which until now was delegated to the Defense Ministry.
Ben-Gvir has long been a staunch supporter of Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank. He is also known for his racist stances towards Palestinians and Arab-Israeli citizens and for repeatedly inciting violence against them.