Rabbi Rafi Peretz
Rabbi Rafi PeretzJorge Novominsky

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed on Thursday night to appoint Rabbi Rafi Peretz as Minister of Jerusalem and Heritage.

Peretz, who left the Yamina party, will split into a separate faction and join the coalition of Blue and White and the Likud. Under the agreement, Minister Peretz will continue to serve as an observer in the Political-Security Cabinet and will be a member of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

As part of the agreement, the Likud promises that the budget of the religious state education system be included in the budget base and the regulations of the religious state education system. On the appointment of rabbinical judges, Netanyahu promised that one-third of the appointments would be from religious Zionism.

The roles of the Jewish Home party in the government and coalition will be maintained in any future composition of the coalition.

It was also agreed upon that “the status quo on religious and state issues will be maintained as has been the case in Israel for decades. The government will work to honor the Sabbath and the Jewish holidays that have maintained our existence as a people. The Jewish Home faction will technically work jointly with the Likud faction.”

Netanyahu said, “I congratulate Minister Rafi Peretz on his joining the government. Minister Peretz has shown responsibility for religious Zionism and will be a key partner in the government that will be established. As I pledged, together we will continue to lead important moves for religious Zionism, most notably the historic process of applying sovereignty."

Peretz said, "Religious Zionism is taking part in the leadership of the state. I responded to the Prime Minister's request to join the government and represent the path of religious Zionism by strengthening the status of Jerusalem, our eternal capital. In the coming days we will celebrate Jerusalem Day 53 years since its liberation. Jerusalem and Israel go together and religious Zionism will do everything possible to keep the flag flying. I thank the Prime Minister for placing his trust in me.”