Ben Gvir threatens to not join coalition if he doesn’t get periphery portfolio

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a former political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Amid a breakdown in negotiations between his Otzma Yehudit party and Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, Itamar Ben Gvir says that he will not enter the government if he’s not given the chance to help the periphery.

Ben Gvir broke off contact on Sunday night after Likud pulled back on its earlier promise to give Otzma Yehudit the ministry in charge of the Negev and Galilee regions, two far-flung parts of the country that are relatively sparsely populated and historically disadvantaged.

“They only made the promise a week ago and went back on it. It’s not acceptable to us,” Ben Gvir says at his party’s Monday faction meeting.

“I’m not talking about a specific portfolio,” Ben Gvir insists. “My goal is to help the periphery.”

The far-right lawmaker focused much of his campaign on the need to use an iron fist to clamp down on crime in the Negev and the Galilee, which have been plagued by poor policing and limited government intervention.

“Without helping the periphery, we can’t be in the government,” Ben Gvir says.

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