(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
MK Ya'acov Litzman of United Torah Judaism (UTJ) late Sunday night accepted the Health portfolio in Binyamin Netanyahu's government, pending the approval of the head of the Ger Hasidic sect, Rabbi Ya'acov Alter.
While Litzman would only bear the title of deputy minister, he would in practice have the authorities of a minister.
Litzman gave Netanyahu a positive answer after repeated requests from the prime minister, as well as deliberation within UTJ on the question of which deputy ministry portfolio should be accepted.
Sources close to Netanyahu said that in the case of decisions necessitating a minister's signature, the premier himself would have the authority to sign.
Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu had told the cabinet at the beginning of Sunday's meeting that he would soon name someone to head the health system, but declined to say who this would be or what position he or she would hold.
"I will soon appoint a head of the health system so there will be a clear address," he said.
Matthew Wagner contributed to this report.