AL-QUDS (Dispatches) – Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed Naftali Bennett, one of the leaders of the New Right party, as the war minister.
According to local media reports, Netanyahu offered Bennett the position at their meeting in the Prime Minister's Office in al-Quds, and Bennett accepted it.
The appointment is expected to be approved at the upcoming cabinet meeting.
Bennett is known for his far-right views and has criticized Netanyahu several times for not acting aggressively in the Gaza Strip after the retaliatory Palestinian rocket attacks.
Netanyahu, leader of the Likud party, currently heads a provisional caretaker cabinet, after he failed twice to form a coalition following two general elections held on April 9 and Sept. 17, respectively.
The mandate to form a cabinet has passed to Benny Gantz, head of the center-left wing party Blue and White which gained 33 seats in the second elections.
Should Gantz fail to form a unity cabinet together with the Likud, elections may soon be held in the Israeli-occupied territories for the third time in a short period.
Ayelet Shaked of Bennett's New Right party welcomed the move, saying Netanyahu had offered the party a choice of two smaller agriculture and diaspora affairs ministries or just military affairs.
"We agreed that Bennett would be appointed" the minister of military affairs. "I am convinced that this is what is right for ... Israel,” she tweeted.
Bennett, who has in the past called for tougher military action against Gaza, will take the portfolio from Netanyahu, who has simultaneously served as prime minister and war minister for nearly a year following the resignation of Avigdor Lieberman.
Netanyahu fired Bennett, the former education minister, and his ally Shaked, the former minister of judiciary affairs, from the cabinet following the April election.
Bennett's party failed to pass the electoral threshold in the April election, but it entered the Israeli parliament (Knesset) again after running on an alliance of extremist right-wing parties.
"Bennett perfectly preyed on Netanyahu’s paranoia and is now reaping the award," said an analysis published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Saturday.
According to the paper, Netanyahu could have bought Bennett’s loyalty as the leader of a party of eight lawmakers if he had agreed to appoint him the minister a year ago when Lieberman resigned from the position.
"But Netanyahu refused, taking the job for himself. Now Bennett has taken it from him, for a lot less," it added.