Ben-Gvir's faction abandons negotiations with Likud over extra ministry

Otzma Yehudit claims Likud backtracked on an initial agreement to give the right-wing faction an additional ministry in the next government.

 L: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir. R: Likud leader, former-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
L: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir. R: Likud leader, former-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

MK Itamar Ben-Gvir's Otzma Yehudit party broke off coalition negotiations with the Likud late Sunday night, the faction announced, according to Israeli media.

According to the extremist right-wing faction, prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu's party backtracked on an initial agreement to give Otzma Yehudit an additional ministry in the next government.

The ministry in question is the Ministry for Development of the Periphery, Negev and Galilee, currently held by Yisrael Beytenu's Oded Forer.

Negotiations continue to falter following Sunday sessions

Netanyahu and his future coalition partners failed to reach a breakthrough in a flurry of coalition talks on Sunday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Negotiations significantly stalled due to Religious Zionist Party Bezalel Smotrich's demand of the Defense Ministry, a demand Netanyahu is reportedly reluctant to give in to.

Israel Hayom reported on Saturday night that Netanyahu has decided not to give Smotrich the Defense Ministry no matter what, even if it means heading to another election.

Eliav Breuer contributed to this report.