The far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir will be Israel’s national security minister under a coalition deal with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, in what is likely to be the most rightwing government in the country’s history.
The agreement comes after the prime minister-designate’s alliance won a comfortable victory in this month’s parliamentary election, Israel’s fifth in less than four years.
Netanyahu is still in talks with three other parties on forming his new government.
“We took a big step [last night] towards a full coalition agreement, towards forming a fully, fully rightwing government,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement.
The leader of the Jewish Power party, who was convicted in 2007 of racist incitement against Arabs and backing a group considered by Israel and the US to be a terrorist organisation, will have an expanded security portfolio that will include responsibility for border police in the occupied West Bank.
The Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry said the appointment would have a “potentially catastrophic impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and hinder the revival of negotiations between the two sides.