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In order to secure support for judicial overhaul pause, Ben Gvir gets National Guard under his control

Critics say national security minister given his 'private militia'

Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir gives a press statement on the first Friday prayers of Ramadan, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, Mar. 24, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir reportedly agreed to the postponement of Israel’s judiciary reforms in exchange for receiving the command of the National Guard. 

Ben Gvir reportedly had threatened to leave the government, in a conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a move that would have deprived the government of its parliamentary majority. 

The National Guard was established in 2021 as a sub-unit of Israel’s Border Police, following extensive rioting during Operation Guardian of the Walls in Israeli cities with a large Arab minority. The National Guard has some 900 regular fighters and thousands of reservists and volunteers. 

Former Israel Police Commissioner Moshe Karadi rejected the decision to grant Ben Gvir command of the National Guard. 

“Ben Gvir formed a private militia for his political purposes. He is dismantling Israeli democracy, summoning whoever does not bend to his will and endangering Israel’s security,” Karadi said

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel also criticized the decision. 

“This is a new and dangerous addition to the coup d’etat that we are witnessing. As if it is not enough to act against the judicial system, now we see operative steps to take authorities from the police and turn them into Ben Gvir’s Revolutionary Guards,” stated the association. 

Ben Gvir is a divisive and controversial political figure in Israeli society. Critics accuse him of anti-Arab racism. He was convicted of inciting racism and supporting a terrorist organization in 2008.

Supporters argue that Ben Gvir is committed to restoring security by addressing the growing violence anarchism within Arab Israeli society.

In early March, 25 former police chiefs and commanders warned Netanyahu that Ben Gvir’s policies could ignite a third intifada terror wave against Israel. 

The Second Intifada was ignited against Israel in the early 2000s, after late PLO Chief Yasser Arafat rejected a “two-state solution” that was proposed by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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

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