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Netanyahu sworn in again as Israel’s PM – in charge of highly controversial right-wing govt

On Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn into office as the prime minister of Israel for the sixth time in a row. This is an incredible comeback for this veteran politician.

Mr Netanyahu will lead a controversial right-wing government.

Itamar Bengvir, who was previously convicted of inciting to racism, has held cabinet posts. Bezalel Mmotrich, the leader of Religious Zionism, has also been convicted.

Smotrich is a vocal supporter for illegal Israeli settlements in The West Bank. He will be finance minister and will take up a position in the Defence Ministry which will give him broad powers over the occupied territories.

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Ben-Gvir, who repeatedly threatened and intimidated Palestinians east Jerusalem , will become the national security minister. He will have control over the Israeli Police Force.

He was heard urging police to fire on Palestinian protestors earlier in the year during the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. It is believed that he wants to relax rules regarding live fire.

These are the concerns within Israel and internationally that President Isaac Herzog called Mr Ben-Gvir yesterday to a meeting in the office, an unusual move.

More on Benjamin Netanyahu

A statement stated that President Herzog had expressed deep concern during their meeting and presented to Mr Ben Gvir voices from large parts of the nation as well as the Jewish world, concerned about the new government.

Senior IDF officers also spoke out privately and publicly about their concerns over the West Bank’s security status. Benny Gantz, the outgoing Defense Minister, stated that it was “completely predictable” that instability in the region would be affected.

Image Mr Netanyahu, his wife Sara cast their ballots in November

Foreign governments and organizations have already begun to voice their dismay.

The European Union cancelled a cooperation agreement between Europol, Israeli police and Europol. This was reportedly due to fears that it would give Mr Ben-Gvir sensitive intelligence and to protest plans to change the status of illegal settlers in West Bank.

Although the White House is careful not to criticize or pass judgment on the new government, it has been openly critical of Israeli behavior in the West Bank ever since November’s elections.

Continue reading:

Why a Benjamin Netanyahu election win could be a ‘dark day’ for Israel

The United Nations is becoming more concerned about the possibility that illegal Israeli settlers could be granted a new status, which would result in an effective annexation to West Bank land.

This fragile coalition must be headed by Mr Netanyahu, who has broken many connections over his long career, and alienated political allies.

Although he is currently being tried on fraud and bribery charges, he is seeking to amend the parliamentary legislation in order to dismiss the case.

Senior Israeli lawyers warned that this could lead to permanent damage to the judiciary, and undermine democracy.

On Thursday, Mr Netanyahu stated in Parliament: “I hear constant cries from the opposition about democracy and the end of the country.”

His speech was repeatedly interrupted by jeers and heckles from the opposition leadership who sometimes chanted “weak”.

He said, “Opposition members: To lose in elections does not mean that democracy is over. This is the essence and purpose of democracy.”

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