The agreement gives Bezalel Smotrich sweeping powers over Israeli settlements and daily Palestinian life

Far-right Religious Zionism party received considerable authority over the Israeli government's civilian activities in the West Bank, according to a partial coalition agreement published on Monday.

The deal reached between the incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the leader of Religious Zionism Bezalel Smotrich will see the faction influencing the appointment of key officials as well the final approval of construction and demolition of houses in a majority of the territory. The agreement, however, requires that the minister appointed to this post, which will likely be taken by Smotrich himself, will act in coordination with the next prime minister and will need his approval.

The future minister will play a key role in dealing with Palestinians and Israeli residents of West Bank settlements. In particular, he will have the power to appoint the heads of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and of the Israeli Civil Administration, responsible for the government's civil policy in the West Bank... Read More: i24