Gallant, Smotrich meet to discuss power-sharing in Israel, West Bank

Bezalel Smotrich is a minister within the Defense Ministry and was given authority over the West Bank.

 MK's Bezalel Smotrich and Yoav Galant at a plenum session at the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on December 14, 2022. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
MK's Bezalel Smotrich and Yoav Galant at a plenum session at the assembly hall of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on December 14, 2022.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister (and minister within the defense ministry) Betzalel Smotrich held their first meeting on Thursday to discuss their working relations and policies regarding the West Bank.

Controversially, Smotrich was granted certain authorities regarding the West Bank's Civil Administration which handles various civil issues relating to the Palestinians, roadwork and other civil issues.

This was despite the fact that such authorities have always been exclusively held by the Defense Minister since the Civil Administration itself and the West Bank, in general, are run by the IDF as a military administration.

Who else was at the meeting?

IDF Maj. Gen. and Civil Administration chief Rasan Elian also attended the meeting.

Despite the announcement, the parties did not actually announce what the breakdown of power-sharing will be.

 OUTGOING DEFENSE minister Benny Gantz (left) hands over to his successsor, Yoav Gallant, at a ceremony in Tel Aviv on January 1. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90) OUTGOING DEFENSE minister Benny Gantz (left) hands over to his successsor, Yoav Gallant, at a ceremony in Tel Aviv on January 1. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Previously, IDF chief-of-staff Aviv Kohavi objected to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the idea that anyone other than the IDF would determine Civil Administration policies, given that every civilian decision has a potential military side to it.