Ben Gvir demands Netanyahu add another minister to war cabinet

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir attends a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir attends a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir demands that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu add a minister to the three-person war cabinet who isn’t from the premier’s Likud party or Benny Gantz’s National Unity.

“As a member of the coalition, a senior minister in the government and a member of the cabinet, I accepted your unilateral decision on the composition of the ‘restricted cabinet’ which does not include me — the national security minister,” the leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party writes.

“I do not intend to confront you on the matter, despite the fact that it is appropriate that the position of the huge number of voters who put their trust in us and asked us to represent them should be heard in the limited cabinet,” Ben Gvir writes.

“I hereby demand that a member or even an observer be added to the cabinet,” Ben Gvir writes, adding that Netanyahu should be the one to select the person.

Five National Unity lawmakers joined Netanyahu’s cabinet shortly after the Hamas massacre on October 7 and Israel’s subsequent declaration of war, forming a national emergency government meant to add decades of high-level security experience to the management of the war and isolate far-right influence.

The war cabinet is made up of Netanyahu, Gantz and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

National Unity MK Gadi Eisenkot, a former IDF chief of staff, and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, a Netanyahu confidant, are observers to the cabinet.

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