Ministers approve budget cut that enables Ben Gvir to establish national guard

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to police officials ahead of a protest against the government's planned judicial overhaul, outside the Knesset, February 20, 2023. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)
National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir speaks to police officials ahead of a protest against the government's planned judicial overhaul, outside the Knesset, February 20, 2023. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Ministers vote in favor of a major budget cut across all ministries in order to fund the “national guard” that National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has been strongly pushing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised Ben Gvir last week that he would bring the issue to a vote today, in exchange for the far-right minister remaining in the government despite his opposition to Netanyahu pausing the judicial overhaul legislation.

According to Hebrew media reports, there were several ministers in the cabinet who expressed opposition to the move, but nevertheless voted in favor.

The move, which is expected to cost NIS 1 billion, has been heavily criticized by many in the opposition.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid decries the government’s priorities as “ridiculous and despicable,” slamming ministers for voting to “finance a private army of thugs for the Tiktok clown.”

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