Smotrich, Netanyahu, and their negotiating teams
Smotrich, Netanyahu, and their negotiating teamsSpokespersons

Last Thursday, the Likud party signed a coalition agreement with the Religious Zionism party, headed by MK Bezalel Smotrich; on Monday morning, that agreement was published in full.

Heading the agreement is a clause 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.

Smotrich himself will serve as Finance Minister in the first half of the new government's term, and subsequently as Interior Minister. During the second part of the government's term, a member of the Religious Zionism party will be appointed as Health Minister or to another ministry (with the agreement of PM-designate Netanyahu). Smotrich will also then serve as Minister within the Defense Ministry. MK Orit Strock will be appointed as Minister for National Projects, and MK Ofir Sofer will serve as Immigration and Absorption Minister.

Also included in the coalition accords is the agreement of the Religious Zionism party to immediately install a new Knesset Speaker from the Likud party who will serve in that position until the new government is sworn in and a permanent Speaker is chosen by the Prime Minister and approved by the Likud party.

Party head Smotrich will sit on all government forums throughout the new government's term, including the general cabinet. If the number of ministers in the cabinet exceeds 11, the Religious Zionism party will be granted an additional ministerial portfolio throughout the new government's term. In addition, a member of the Religious Zionism party will be appointed to head the powerful Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

The agreement also stipulates that Smotrich will be the sole acting chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Settlement Affairs, which Netanyahu will control.