Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced shortly before midnight on Wednesday night that he was quitting his three remaining cabinet posts because of his criminal indictments.
But it is not so easy for a prime minister to get rid of portfolios.
The resignation letters were submitted at about 11:45pm Wednesday and would normally take effect 48 hours later, but they were frozen at 4:51pm on Friday when Shabbat began in Jerusalem. The remaining six hours and fifty-four minutes will only begin when Shabbat ends at 5:15pm on Saturday night.
That means that the resignation letters are set to take effect very early Sunday, nine minutes after midnight.
But the Israel Democracy Institute confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Friday that when Netanyahu's resignation letters take effect, the new acting minister in all the ministries will be none other than Netanyahu himself.
Beside being prime minister, Netanyahu was social welfare minister, Diaspora affairs minister and acting agricultural minister. He was also the health minister until Sunday, when the cabinet approved the promotion of deputy health minister Ya’acov Litzman (United Torah Judaism).
Even if Netanyahu would quit his post as prime minister, he would remain acting prime minister until a new acting prime minister would be approved by the cabinet.
While deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely is expected to become Diaspora affairs minister and another Likud MK agriculture minister, no announcement has been made by Netanyahu. The situation became more complicated on Thursday, when the head of Shas's council of Torah sages, Rabbi Shalom Cohen, told Shas leader Arye Deri that the party cannot take the post because it approves projects that take place on Shabbat.The Movement for Quality Government in Israel said on Friday that the organization would strongly consider a lawsuit for shaming the court if Netanyahu did not appoint new ministers by Sunday.