Israel news summary

Israel News for 12-30-2022

News Update

Israel’s 37th government, headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu, was sworn in and approved by the Knesset yesterday. It is the most right wing government in Israel’s history. This will be Netanyahu’s 6th term as Prime Minister.

Here are some of the new government’s main cabinet ministers:

Defense Minister – Yoav Galant, Likud, former navy seals commander and IDF general, construction and housing minister, aliyah and integration minister and education minister.

Foreign Minister – Eli Cohen, Likud, will serve as foreign minister for one year before rotating with Likud’s Israel Katz for the Energy Ministry for the next two years.

National Security Minister – Itamar Ben Gvir, Otzma Yehudit, will direct the security services including the police.

Finance Minister – Betzalel Smotrich, Religious Zionism, will also serve as a minister in the defense ministry in charge of matters related to Judea and Samaria.

Justice Minister – Yariv Levin, Likud

Health Minister – Aryeh Deri, Shas

Interior Minister – Aryeh Deri, Shas

Construction and Housing Minister – Yitzchak Goldknopf, UTJ

Intelligence Minister – Gila Gamliel, Likud

Other Likud appointees include Haim Katz as tourism minister, Yoav Kisch as education minister, Avi Dichter as agriculture and rural development minister, Shlomo Karhi as communications minister, Miri Regev as transportation minister, former Yamina member Idit Silman as environmental protection minister, Miki Zohar as culture and sports minister and Ofir Akunis as science and technology minister.

For a complete list of the 31 ministers and portfolios, click here. 

US President Biden issued a statement related to the new government:

“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has been my friend for decades, to jointly address the many challenges and opportunities facing Israel and the Middle East region, including threats from Iran. The United States is working to promote a region that’s increasingly integrated, prosperous, and secure, with benefits for all of its people.

From the start of my Administration, we have worked with partners to promote this more hopeful vision of a region at peace, including between Israelis and Palestinians. We aim to continue this important work with Israel’s new government under Prime Minister Netanyahu’s leadership. And as we have throughout my Administration, the United States will continue to support the two-state solution and to oppose policies that endanger its viability or contradict our mutual interests and values.”

According to a report published yesterday by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), Israel’s population currently stands at 9,656,000, of which 7,106,000 are Jews, 2,037,000 are Arabs and 513,000 defined as other (including non Arab Christians and other religions). For more detail, click here.

According to an IDF annual report, there were 285 shooting attacks in the West Bank this year, compared to 61 in 2021 and 31 in 2020. Thirty one people were killed in terror attacks in 2022. For more of the annual report, click here.