Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich
Finance Minister Bezalel SmotrichIsrael National News

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich commented at a party meeting about the many criticisms against Minister Orit Strock who criticized the conduct of the heads of the security services.

"Minister Strock clarified her comments and immediately apologized for her statement. There are petty and cynical politicians who build on the stumbles of others. Minister Strock is doing an excellent job in her office. We all make mistakes, it is permissible to make mistakes and it is important to correct quickly," said Smotrich.

He himself called on the security system to correctly identify who the enemy is. "Last week, terrorism dealt us a heavy blow. Today I was at the home of the victims of the shooting at the Eli Junction. The grief and pain are unimaginable. Terror will not defeat us. The IDF and the security services are working against terror and we thank them for that. Israel's security is above all else."

"But it is important to note, the army must focus on an uncompromising fight against terrorism and take a hard hand against the Arab riot and the settlers must leave the work to the IDF and the security services. Settlers must not become sitting ducks. Parents should not go out with their children for a routine day and end it with shattered glass at best and, God forbid, with injuries or worse at worst. No, just no. The settlers seeking security must not be punished collectively," said Smotrich.

He also referred to the struggle against the cost of living. "Last week, the ministerial committee on the cost of living met under the leadership of the prime minister. At the meeting, ideas came up for measures that would change the rules of the game. One of them is the reform of the European standard. 'What is good for Europe is good for Israel.' Upon entering the country, imports currently go through a bureaucratic and cumbersome chain that causes prices to rise. We must stop being subject to archaic regulations and all kinds of monopolies and corporations that make it difficult for the Israeli market to advance to a global economy, where living is cheaper," he added.

According to him, "The echoes of the fintech revolution that we made in the Settlements Law led some banks to start granting interest on chequing accounts. This is a first step in the right direction, but it is far from satisfactory. In my meeting with the Governor of the Bank of Israel on Wednesday, I will discuss with him additional ways to make sure that the money of the citizens of Israel will make money for them and not just for the banks and that the interest burden on households will be eased. This is just one of many steps we are taking. We continue to fight the cost of living so that all Israeli citizens have more money left in their pockets."

Smotrich also referred to the latest developments in the prime minister's trial. "The case against Netanyahu continues to collapse and we are witnessing a period in which the judiciary and the prosecutor's office are forced to conduct a thorough and detailed investigation of how they reached a situation where they are spending a lot of money on investigations, protocols and discussions that prove that apart from trying to manufacture a case against a sitting prime minister and remove him, there is simply nothing there to find."

"This is the judgment day of the justice system. A democratic country cannot afford a reality in which there are prosecutors and entire systems that feel they are a political actor and put the democratic system in a spin for years because of improper political motives and ego and power struggles. We will fix it," he concluded.