Cabinet holds first meeting, selects security cabinet

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March 18, 2013 22:53
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu presided for the first time over his third government Monday evening, holding a cabinet meeting in his office shortly after the ministers was sworn in at the Knesset.

At that meeting the cabinet approved a seven-man security cabinet, much smaller than the outgoing 15-member security cabinet that is empowered to deal with the country's critical national security issues.

In addition to the five members who must by law be on that key forum – Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Finance Minister Yair Lapid, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – two other ministers were brought into the cabinet: Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett and Communications and Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan.

The cabinet also selected the Israel Security Agency (Shabak) oversight committee, which in addition to the five permanent members of the security cabinet will now also include International Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz.

Two other pressing matters of business were approval of a 135-day extension to pass a budget, and also a bill  to extend the tenure of the current chief rabbis by another four months, during which time new elections for the position will be held.

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