Benjamin Netanyahu .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fourth government is set to be sworn in Thursday night at the Knesset, ending the longest government formation period in the country’s history.
He started meeting Likud MKs one by one Wednesday evening, in order of their placement on the party list, to inform them of their intended posts in the new government.
As of Thursday afternoon, it was announced that Transportation Minister Israel Katz and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon would continue their posts. Yuval Steinitz was appointed Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Head of the Committee of Nuclear Energy, and member of the security cabinet. He was also set to carry on coordinating strategy for the Iranian threat.
Ophir Akunis was appointed minister in the communications ministry.
Netanyahu's No. 2 in the Likud, outgoing Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, said he would not enter the cabinet if he did not receive the Foreign Ministry or both the Interior and Public Security portfolios. Erdan's future remains unknown, as Netanyahu made clear his intention to keep the Foreign Ministry for himself in hopes that Zionist Union leader Herzog might join the cabinet later on.
Haim Katz was appointed welfare and social services minister, and Bennie Begin strategic affairs minister.
Netanyahu chose Miri Regev for the post of Culture and Sports Minister and Danny Danon was chosen to be the Minister for Science and Technology.
MK Yariv Levine was appointed to the post of Tourism Minister. Levine will also be the minister in charge of coordinating between the cabinet and the Knesset.
Likud MK Gila Gamliel was appointed to the post of Minister of Pensioners, students, young people and gender equality.