Orly Levy-Abekasis
Orly Levy-AbekasisHadas Parush/Flash 90

Gesher party chairwoman MK Orly Levy-Abekasis, who will be joining the unity government as part of the Likud bloc, will head a newly formed ministry called the Ministry for Community Strengthening and Promotion.

The new ministry will take on some of the powers that have previously been held by the Ministry of Public Security, including the Community Security Authority, the "City Without Violence" project, the Drug and Alcohol Fighting Authority, the National Child Protection Network and the promotion of projects related to the Arab sector.

According to the coalition agreement signed between the Gesher and Likud parties, Levy-Abekasis will be a member of the Socio-Economic Cabinet, the Reconciliation Cabinet as well as the inter-ministerial program to prevent domestic violence.

The new government is expected to be sworn in on Thursday evening, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu informed Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz and President Reuven Rivlin that he had succeeded in forming a government.

On Wednesday evening it was reported that Minister of Education Rabbi Rafi Peretz is considering splitting the Yamina party and joining the Gantz-Netanyahu government in exchange for receiving the Jerusalem and Heritage MInistry.

Peretz met with Netanyahu twice during the day, and is reportedly seriously considering the proposal to be appointed a minister in the new government. Should he agree, he will also be granted powers related to settlement and national service. Peretz asked to be appointed Minister of Education in the new government, but the Prime Minister refused the request.

On Wednesday afternoon, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on the telephone, but failed to reach agreements that would allow Yamina to enter the new government.

"The decision is in Netanyahu’s hands," Bennett said after the meeting. “As I said from the beginning, we are interested in entering the government, but only if we have influence. Influence is wholly derived from responsibilities. If the Prime Minister wants us in positions of influence, we would love to come in. If the Prime Minister wants us marginalized, weak and non-influential, we would prefer to go to the opposition."