Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday chose Likud MK and former
IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon to be Israel's next defense minister.
Danny Danon was appointed as deputy defense minister.
Outgoing Environmental Protection Minister, Gilad Erdan, has accepted
the Home Front Security and Communications portfolios. As Communications
Minister, Erdan will be in charge of the Israel Broadcast Agency and the
Government Publications Bureau. He will also be responsible for the
strategic relationship with the US.
Ofir Akunis was appointed
Deputy Minister Connecting the Government and the Knesset, while Tzachi
Hanegbi will head the Knesset House Committee for a year and a half.
When Hanegbi becomes a Deputy Minister, he will trade positions with
Haim Katz will continue heading the Knesset Labor, Health and Welfare Committee.
was set to meet with a swath of Likud MKs on Sunday to hand out the
ministerial posts, among them Gideon Sa'ar, Yuval Steinitz, Israel Katz,
Miri Regev, Gila Gamliel, Limor Livnat, Moshe Feiglin, Tzipi Hotovely
and Yariv Levin.
Former foreign minister and one-time deputy
prime minister Silvan Shalom has warned that he will only accept a
senior ministerial position. Netanyahu is likely to offer Shalom to keep
his current post of minister for development of the Negev and Galilee.
Shalom was one of several veteran lawmakers pushed down the list in the
party's primaries in November.
Keeping their jobs are
Transportation Minister Israel Katz and Sport and Culture Minister Limor
Livnat. Meanwhile, outgoing Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who is
being replaced by key coalition partner Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, will be
moving to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, the Israel media reported.
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar is the leading candidate for interior
minister, and MK Yariv Levin was asked to be the next coalition
chairman, but has yet to accept the position. Former coalition chairman
Ze’ev Elkin is likely to be deputy foreign minister, at the insistence
of former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman, who will return to his
previous position if he is exonerated in his corruption trial.
activists have asked to call a central committee meeting, expressing
anger at the “disproportionate” number of posts the Yisrael Beytenu
section of Likud Beytenu received – five portfolios (Foreign,
Agriculture, Tourism, Immigration Absorption and Public Security) and a
committee chairmanship for 11 of its MKs.