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New government crisis as Ben Gvir opposes recent allocation of coalition funds

The national security minister wants more funding for his party to further develop Israel's periphery

Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir arrives to a government conference at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, May 14, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir reportedly opposed the recent allocation of the coalition funds on the grounds that not enough of the funds were allocated to the Development of the Periphery, the Negev and the Galilee, as well as the National Resilience Ministry.

The ministry is run by Ben Gvir’s fellow Jewish Power party’s Yitzhak Wasserlauf and reportedly increased its funding for the ultra-orthodox educational sector, in addition to about NIS 1 billion (over $273 million) in funding for the distribution of food coupons for poor families, a long-time initiative of the Shas ultra-Orthodox Jewish political party.

Approximately NIS 13.7 billion ($3.74 billion) was allocated for coalition funds in the 2023-2024 national budget, which is scheduled to be approved in the Knesset. Coalition funds are more flexible and easily allocated because they would only require a Cabinet decision and approval by the Knesset’s Finance Committee, as opposed to an amendment to the actual Budget Law.

There are concerns that Ben Gvir’s opposition to the fund allocation could lead to yet another coalition crisis between the national security minister and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Nearly two weeks ago, Ben Gvir and his Jewish Power party slammed the government and began a boycott of the Knesset for what it called a “weak” response by Israel’s military force to the rockets from Gaza

“The weak response of the IDF certainly invites the next round [of fighting] that will continue to harm the lives of our children and the normal way of life of the residents of the Gaza frontier and the south as a whole,” said Jewish Power Knesset Member Almog Cohen at the time.

Only after Operation Shield and Arrow was launched did Ben Gvir’s Otzma Yehudit party lift the boycott.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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