Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the Knesset ahead of the vote on whether it will disperse, May 29.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled plans for a cabinet reshuffle that would lead to the appointment of new ministers in Likud, sources close to him told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Likud personnel who are in line for a promotion include Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Immigrant Absorption Minister Yoav Gallant, and MKs Nir Barkat and David Bitan.
Following the appointments of Union of Right-Wing Parties leaders Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich as education and transportation ministers, the Diaspora Affairs portfolio of fired minister Naftali Bennett remains available and in the hands of Netanyahu. Hotovely is seen as a strong candidate for the post.
The Intelligence Services portfolio of Foreign Minister Israel Katz is also available. There was also talk of firing Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, who has quit politics, and Construction Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, and sending Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and Communications Minister Ayoub Kara abroad as ambassadors.
In principle, there would be seven portfolios potentially available for candidates in Likud.
But a source close to Netanyahu said “he is not appointing anyone at the moment.”
One possible reason is that Netanyahu faced challenges in appointing Peretz and Smotrich, and does not want to deal with more political headaches. Another reason is that he does not want to cause jealousy in Likud among those who are not promoted.
A Likud MK who is a candidate for a promotion told the Post that it was still on the way, and that no update had been received from Netanyahu.
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