Former IDF deputy chief of staff Uzi Dayan denied a Channel 2 report on Monday night that he will be the next home front defense minister.

The report said Dayan was Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s candidate to replace Matan Vilna’i, who will leave next week for Beijing to be Israel’s next ambassador to China.

Dayan, who currently heads the Mifal Hapayis national lottery, said he was offered the post but politely declined it.

Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said Dayan was only one possible candidate.

He said splitting Kadima and appointing a current Kadima MK was not an option.

Ministers Dan Meridor, Bennie Begin, Michael Eitan, and Yossi Peled turned down the job, as did former minister Tzachi Hanegbi.

A source close to Netanyahu said late on Sunday that the position would be given to a security authority who was not a current minister – a description that fits Dayan.

He also is a confidant of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, with whom he would have to work closely. Barak’s associates said the appointment would have to be coordinated with him.

Dayan ran for the current Knesset with the Likud but did not win a realistic slot.

The Knesset will convene in a special session during its summer recess on Thursday to approve Vilna’i’s replacement.

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