Israel's cabinet approves establishment of national guard led by far-right minister
Israel's cabinet has voted in favour of establishing a National Guard force controlled by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir
Israel's cabinet has voted in favour of establishing a National Guard force controlled by far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.
The National Guard will deal with "national emergency situations," such as violent clashes between Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel, according to a statement released by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.
A committee composed of all security agencies will draft guidelines for the operation of the National Guard within 90 days, the statement said on Sunday, adding that the committee will also discuss what would be the powers of the force.
Last week, Ben-Gvir told Army Radio that the force will be deployed "exclusively" in Arab communities, Xinhua news agency reported.
"The police don't deal exclusively with this, because they are too busy with other things," he said.
Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported that Israeli police chief, Inspector-General Yaacov Shabtai has expressed his concerns about the National Guard to Ben-Gvir in a private letter.
In a tweet, Opposition leader Yair Lapid accused Ben-Gvir of seeking "to turn his thug militia into a national guard, that will bring terror and violence everywhere in the country".
Ben-Gvir is one the most extreme Ministers in Netanyahu's far-right cabinet. Before entering politics, he was an ultranationalist activist who was convicted of supporting terrorism, incitement to racism and involvement in riots. The Minister is a resident of the hardline Jewish settlement in Hebron, located in the occupied West Bank.
Last week, Netanyahu announced that the overhaul of the country's judiciary would be suspended. To gain Ben-Gvir's support for the move, Netanyahu accepted Ben-Gvir's demand to set up a National Guard under the National Security Ministry.