(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan will replace Gideon Sa’ar as interior minister, he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed on Tuesday. The appointment will be brought to the cabinet and the Knesset for authorization in the coming weeks.
Immediately after meeting with Netanyahu, Erdan wrote on Facebook: “The Interior Ministry is an important one that influences and touches the lives of citizens from the day they are born, shapes the face of the country through planning policy and even decides the character of the Sabbath. I have a lot of work ahead of me and I promise to learn all of the topics in depth before I set policies. In the coming days I will meet my friend Gideon Sa’ar to learn the job thoroughly.”
Erdan will continue to be responsible for the Israel Broadcasting Authority and its overhaul, which he initiated. He wrote that he viewed this issue as being of “utmost importance.”
The departing communications minister chose the Interior portfolio over an offer from Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman to become ambassador to the UN when Ron Prosor leaves the position in January. The interior minister job opened up on Sunday when Sa’ar resigned, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Netanyahu has yet to choose a replacement for Erdan.
The prime minister is not in a hurry to make a decision until after the Likud leadership primary in December or January, apparently in an effort to ensure he will have the support of as many MKs as possible in the race.
Within the Likud there is a battle over who will get the job.
Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat is thought to be eying the position. Knesset House Committee chairman Yariv Levin and MK Gila Gamliel each say Netanyahu promised them the next ministry available to the Likud. Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health Committee chairman Haim Katz is also said to be interested in filling the slot.