Gallant, Smotrich meet to coordinate dividing responsibilities in Defense Ministry

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (center), Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (right), and COGAT head Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian (left) hold a meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, January 12, 2023. (Courtesy)
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (center), Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (right), and COGAT head Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian (left) hold a meeting at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, January 12, 2023. (Courtesy)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and the head of the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories hold a joint meeting to coordinate the responsibilities each minister will have over the hybrid civil-military unit.

In addition to being the finance minister, Smotrich, the far-right Religious Zionism leader, was appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a sort of junior minister in the Defense Ministry.

Coalition agreements allow him to appoint the generals leading COGAT and its office overseeing many settlement issues, the Civil Administration, subject to Netanyahu’s approval.

During the meeting this morning at the Defense Ministry, Gallant and COGAT head Maj. Gen. Ghassan Alian “began coordinating work procedures and transferring civil responsibility to Smotrich,” the ministry says in a statement.

“The ministers agreed to continue their full cooperation,” the statement adds.

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