December 7, 2023

“The Guard will operate in order to return sovereignty and personal safety all over Israel,” Ben-Gvir said.

The government on Sunday approved a proposal by National Security Minister MK Itamar Ben-Gvir to form a National Guard that would operate independently of the Israel Police in different emergency scenarios as well as fight terror and apply sovereignty in “areas where this is necessary.”

“The National Guard that the government approved is an important message to the residents of Israel and to personal safety, a necessary, basic need for the State of Israel that enjoys braid consensus,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement after the move was approved. “The Guard will operate in order to return sovereignty and personal safety all over Israel. I thank the prime minister for his support,” Ben-Gvir said.

The decision stipulates that the national security minister form a committee headed by the ministry’s director-general, which will within 60 days present a plan for the organizational structure, chain of command, budget and other areas related to the new body. The committee will include representatives from the prime minister’s office, the defense ministry, the justice ministry, the finance ministry, the Israel Police, IDF and others.

The committee will also decide whether or not the National Guard will be subject to the Israel Police or to a different authority, the prime minister’s office said in a statement It is therefore unclear whether or not Ben-Gvir will receive direct power over the new body. If the body will not be under the police, it will require legislation. After the committee concludes its work, the coalition will then have an additional 90 days to pass any legislation necessary to implement the decision.

Ahead of the debate during the cabinet meeting, Ben-Gvir agreed to make a number of changes to the text of the proposal at the request of representatives of the attorney general. The representatives still refused to support it and argued that it was legally problematic, but the proposal was put to a vote regardless and passed, according to Ben-Gvir’s statement.

His spokesperson did not answer a query over which changes the minister agreed to make and which he did not.

Earlier in the cabinet meeting, the ministers approved a sweeping 1.5% budget cut in order to finance the new National Guard.

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