Israeli ministers voted in favor of a major budget cut across all ministries in order to fund the “national guard” that so-called National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has been strongly pushing.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised Ben Gvir last week that he would bring the issue to a vote today, in exchange for the far-right minister remaining in the government despite his opposition to Netanyahu pausing the judicial overhaul legislation.
According to Hebrew media reports, there were several ministers in the cabinet who expressed opposition to the move, but nevertheless voted in favor.
The move to form a national guard that reports directly to the National Security Ministry has been heavily criticized by many officials.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid decried the occupation government’s priorities as “ridiculous and despicable,” slamming ministers for voting to “finance a private army of thugs for the Tiktok clown.”
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara sounded the alarm earlier on Sunday, telling the government that there is a “legal hindrance” to the current version of the proposal and that the police can deal with the challenges they face without needing a competing body.
The cabinet meeting did, however, hear the opinion of Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara, according to a draft of the proposal.
Baharav-Miara’s office informed the ministers of her opinion that “as of now, there is a legal hindrance to advancing the current draft,” according to Hebrew media.
She added that the police “must and can deal with security problems without the need for an additional body.”
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai also issued a grave warning against the government’s proposal, cautioning that separating the new force from the police will severely harm public security and cause chaos in law enforcement.
A chorus of former senior police commanders has warned against the plan, including former police chief Moshe Karadi who said Ben Gvir could use it to launch a “coup.”
Source: Israeli media