Yair Lapid
Yair LapidOlivier Fitoussi/Flash90

The details of the coalition accord between Likud and Religious Zionism, published in full on Monday morning, have aroused the ire of outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

"According to the agreement between the Likud and Religious Zionism parties, Smotrich will be appointing the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories [COGAT] and the head of the Civil Administration, which until now have been appointed by the IDF Chief-of-Staff," Lapid said. "Netanyahu has sold out the country to the hardalim."

"Hardalim" (plural) is a term used to refer to Religious-Zionists who are perceived as being more stringent in observance of Jewish Law - the word is a contraction of "haredi" and "dati-leumi" (religious-zionist).

Former IDF Chief-of-Staff Gadi Eizenkot, now a Knesset member for the National Unity party (headed by outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz), noted that the coalition agreement includes a clause handing over "sweeping" powers previously in the hands of the Defense Minister to a Minister within the Defense Ministry, who will be either Religious Zionism head MK Bezalel Smotrich himself or another member of his party.

"This is an unprecedented move in the history of the IDF and the security system," Eizenkot said. "It essentially undermines the authority of the Defense Minister and the Chief-of-Staff, and turns the Attorney-General into a political adviser rather than a legal and professional one."

Left-wing objections to the agreement between Religious Zionism and Likud center around a number of clauses, including one stipulating that all government responses to the Supreme Court on the issue of settlements must be authorized by Smotrich himself. In addition, the position of "Minister within the Defense Ministry" will be permanently enshrined in law (in the Basic Law: Government). A Religious Zionism representative will be appointed to that position, which will include authority over the Civil Administration (the de facto government of Area C in Judea and Samaria, which rules over all the Jewish communities there).

Also within the Defense Ministry, an independent directorate will be established which will answer to Smotrich or another minister appointed by him. There will be 12 positions of authority within this directorate, including the position of chief directorate, similar to that of a managing director.