The cabinet is expected to formally approve the appointment of veteran Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi as deputy foreign minister on Sunday. Hanegbi will then be sworn in before the Knesset.

Hanegbi is to replace Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin, who became chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. But he is expected to have a wider role in international affairs, similar to that of Danny Ayalon in the previous government, because his English is better than Elkin’s. Like Ayalon, Hanegbi’s wife is American.

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Randi Hanegbi married her husband 1983, three years after she made aliyah. Her family still lives in Florida.

In his new role, Hanegbi will immediately travel abroad to the United States, where he is to head a delegation of MKs at a Jerusalem Day event organized by the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus and at the Salute to Israel parade in New York.

A close ally of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Hanegbi is one of the few proponents in the Likud faction of the creation of a Palestinian state.

Hanegbi, 57, has served as minister of health, justice, public security, and the environment. He is the son of Emmanuel Hanegbi and former MK Geula Cohen, who fought against the British rule over Palestine as members of the Hebrew underground Stern Group until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

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