Israeli pm-designate Netanyahu signs coalition deal with far-right Jewish Power Party

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Israeli pm-designate Netanyahu signs coalition deal with far-right Jewish Power Party

The Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative Likud party signed its first coalition deal with Itamar Ben-Gvir's far-right Jewish Power party, Likud said on Friday.

Ben-Gvir is given a seat in the security cabinet and the police ministry because of the agreement, which does not account for a full and final government in Israel.

Ben-Gvir said that we took a big step toward a full coalition agreement tonight, toward forming a fully, fully right-wing government.

Netanyahu's Likud and its religious and far-right allies secured a clear victory in Israel's Nov. 1 election, ending nearly four years of political instability. His efforts to form a government have hit roadblocks as negotiations with coalition partners drag on.

The incoming government seems to be the most right-wing in Israel's history, forcing Netanyahu into a diplomatic balancing act between his coalition and Western allies.

Ben-Gvir's record includes a 2007 conviction for racist incitement against Arabs and support for terrorism, as well as anti-LGBT activism. He says he no longer advocates the expulsion of all Palestinians - only those he considers to be traitors or terrorists.

A settler living in the West Bank, Israel occupied in a 1967 Middle East war, Ben-Gvir opposes Palestinian statehood. He also supports Jewish prayer on a flash point Jerusalem holy site that houses Al-Aqsa Mosque and is a vestige of old Jewish temples.