MK Bezalel Smotrich, chairman of the Religious Zionism party, has informed the Likud that he is willing to compromise on his demand to be appointed Defense Minister - but only if certain conditions are met, Kan Reshet Bet reported Monday morning.
According to the report, Smotrich is willing to forgo the Defense Ministry if he receives the Finance Ministry and extensive responsibilities from the Defense Ministry related to Judea and Samaria.
Among these responsibilities are the responsibility and authority for the civil matters of Israelis in Judea and Samaria, including responsibility for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Civil Administration Unit, and responsibility for enforcement in open areas.
Smotrich is demanding that the entire issue of settlements in Judea and Samaria be transferred to the Finance Ministry, so that even if no one is appointed Defense Minister in the end, he will still be able to set the policies for the area.
It is not yet clear what the Likud's position on this matter is - but it is clear that the party is not happy with this demand, the report says.
Smotrich has demanded to be appointed either Defense Minister or Finance Minister. The US is pressuring Netanyahu not to grant Smotrich the Defense Ministry, but Netanyahu has already offered the Finance Ministry to Shas chair MK Aryeh Deri, and Deri has accepted the offer.