Communications Minister Ayoub Kara.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering sending Communications Minister Ayoub Kara to Cairo as Israel’s next ambassador, Channel 13 reported on Tuesday, in a move that would open up a ministry for another Likud appointment.
Speculation that Netanyahu may send the Druze minister to Cairo came fast on the heels of a Channel 12 report on Monday that he was also toying with the idea of appointing Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan as the country’s next ambassador to the United Nations, a position currently held by Danny Danon, who will complete four years there in August.
The Prime Minister’s Office would not confirm that either move was under consideration. A source in New York said Danon “will complete his four-year-term this summer.” In January, he decided to stay on at the UN rather than come home and compete in the Likud primaries.
The appointment of Kara, Channel 13 noted, would necessitate canceling the appointment of Amira Oron, whom the Foreign Ministry’s appointment committee selected in October as Israel’s first female ambassador to Egypt. Oron has not yet taken up her post, something that was expected to take place this summer.
Oron, a veteran diplomat, previously served as Israel’s chargé d’affaires in Ankara. Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador in 2010 following the Mavi Marmara incident, and Oron became the highest-ranking Israeli diplomat in the country from 2015 until a new ambassador was appointed in 2016 – who was also shown the door following yet another crisis in relations between the two countries.
Kara is a veteran Likud politician and considered a Netanyahu ally. He was placed 39th on the Likud list following the primaries in February, and did not make it in the Knesset in the last elections.
Talk of these appointments comes as Netanyahu is expected to name in the coming days a new justice minister and a new education minister, following his dismissal of Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett, respectively. There is also speculation that he might name a new transportation minister, to replace Israel Katz, whom he named foreign minister last week.
While it is unusual to name new ministers in a transition government, the situation now is considered exceptional since the country will be governed by a transition government until at least the end of September. These positions are being sought after by some Likud MKs, since if they are given ministerial positions even in a transitional government, they will be considered front-runners to keep those positions or get other ministerial positions if Netanyahu ends up forming the next government.
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