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Ben Gvir says he'll quit the coalition if he doesn’t make ‘significant change’

Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir attends a Knesset committee meeting, Feb. 5, 2023. (Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

According to information obtained by Israel’s News 13, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir told confidants that he would not hold onto his seat in the government if he sees he is not successful in bringing about significant change. 

Ben Gvir is reported to have set a deadline of three months to assess his progress within the government coalition and identified the budget as a test of his importance to the coalition members.

“If they cut me off in the next budget, that means I’m alone. In such a case, if I feel like I don’t have an influence, I will return the keys and will go fight in the opposition,” Ben Gvir said. 

Ben Gvir made similar comments in an interview with the N12 news channel, which aired on Saturday night.

“As long as I see that I am influencing, I will not resign,” Ben Gvir said. “If I see that I’m not influencing, I’ll leave – but I see that I do make an impact." 

In the interview, Ben Gvir was asked about comments he made before his appointment as national security minister, where he attacked the previous government’s lenient response to rocket fire from Gaza, slow response to rising violence in certain communities and the delayed evacuation of the Khan al-Ahmar Bedouin community near Jerusalem. 

One of the interviewers pointed out that he could see no immediate difference between Ben Gvir’s response and that of the previous government. In that setting, Ben Gvir stated that if he could not influence the government over several months, he would resign. 

He was also quick to point out that the government has just been installed and still needs time to implement some of their proposed changes. 

Ben Gvir did identify several areas where the coalition has made progress, in his eyes, which included: demolishing the homes of terrorists, closing prison bakeries and easing the process for weapons permits. 

Ben Gvir has called for the death penalty to be instituted against terrorists who attack Israelis, even if they were unsuccessful in killing anyone. 

Previous right-wing politicians have made similar calls for the death penalty for terrorists. However, legal issues, as well as a lack of broad public support have prevented it from becoming policy. 

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

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