Yoav Gallant. (Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post).
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon had Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant fired from his cabinet post Monday, telling him he will not be on the Kulanu list for the next Knesset.
Kahlon can demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fire Gallant from the Housing Ministry as a condition of the coalition agreement.
However, Netanyahu plans to appoint Gallant as a minister without portfolio from the Likud, pending a Knesset vote, so Gallant, a retired lieutenant-general in the IDF, can continue to be a member of the Security Cabinet.
Kahlon commended Gallant’s work as a minister and thanked him for their shared efforts, including the subsidized housing lottery for young couples.
Gallant also thanked Kahlon: “In recent years I had the privilege of serving the Israeli public as a minister and Security Cabinet member, after 35 years of IDF service. I see myself continuing to contribute to Israel in the area in which I worked my whole life, Israel’s security and defending the land and its residents.”
Gallant has long signaled his interest in moving to the Likud, and Kahlon’s move came Gallant participated in a series of events for Likud activists. Gallant will have to resign from the Knesset in order to be able to move to the Likud.
Last week, Likud MK David Bitan said: “Yes, Gallant is coming to us. I’ve known it for a long time.”
It remains to be seen if Gallant will run in the Likud primary or if Netanyahu will appoint him to a spot on the party’s list. Netanyahu is expected to be allowed to appoint two people; a final decision will be made by the Likud’s Constitution Committee on Monday.
Kulanu MK Rachel Azaria said on Sunday that she will not seek to be reelected to the Knesset.
Shas leader Arye Deri announced Monday he intends to replace former religious services minister David Azoulay, who died last month, with veteran MK Yitzhak Vaknin. He has already announced that he is not running for the next Knesset.
The appointment was approved by the party’s Council of Torah Sages. The appointment will come to a vote Tuesday in the Cabinet in the Knesset.Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.
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