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Far-right Ben Gvir vows to ‘teach our enemies a lesson’ as police minister

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

Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir and his wife Ayala speak during a faction meeting of the extremist party, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 15, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir and his wife Ayala speak during a faction meeting of the extremist party, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on November 15, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Far-right leader Itamar Ben Gvir says that he will “teach our enemies a lesson” upon taking over at the Public Security Ministry, which controls the country’s police force.

The Otzma Yehudit head is currently pushing to receive the post in ongoing coalition negotiations with Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu.

“If we enter into the Public Security Ministry, we will, with God’s help, do everything to fight terror attacks, we’ll do everything to return deterrence to the State of Israel, we’ll do everything to back up police officers and soldiers, we’ll do everything to teach our enemies a lesson, that it’s not possible to mess with Israel,” Ben Gvir says at the outset of his extremist party’s faction meeting.

Speaking just before the 25th Knesset is sworn in, Ben Gvir vows a right-wing government will be formed “within a few days.”

Today’s deadly terrorist attack, he says, “proves unequivocally the imperative to establish a full, full, right-wing government as quickly as possible.”

Coalition talks have stalled between Netanyahu and Ben Gvir’s running mate, Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich, who is pushing for the defense or finance portfolio.

Reaffirming a previous position, Ben Gvir cites this morning’s deadly terror stabbing in the West Bank to call for the “urgent need to change open fire rules,” which he wants to loosen.

Ben Gvir says that he put included the request in coalition demands to Netanyahu, “so people won’t be afraid, won’t hesitate, won’t think twice when they see a terror event right before their eyes.”

At the outset of the morning rampage, a security guard fired in the air rather than at the terrorist, apparently due to worries of harming passersby.

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