The cabinet is expected to vote on authorizing Regional Cooperation Minister Gilad Erdan as ambassador to the UN in Sunday’s meeting.
Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely underwent an interview with the Civil Service Commission on Tuesday, ahead of official appointment as ambassador to the UK. It was still unclear when the cabinet vote on her posting would take place.
Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer’s tenure is also set to be extended until after November’s US presidential election, in a vote in Sunday’s cabinet meeting.
The Civil Service Commission approved Erdan last month, and he will head to New York to replace current Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon in the coming weeks.
Erdan will also replace Dermer as ambassador to the UN, making him the first Israeli to hold the dual posting since Abba Eban in 1950-1959.
According to the coalition agreement between Likud and Blue and White, Defense Minister Benny Gantz will be able to appoint his own ambassador in Washington when he becomes prime minister at the end of 2021.
Hotovely and Erdan were offered the ambassadorships because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had fewer ministerial portfolios to give senior Likud MKs in the current unity government than in the last Likud-led one.
MK Ofir Akunis will take on Erdan's Regional Cooperation portfolio and Minister without Portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi will take on the Settlements Ministry after their current heads leave for their posts abroad.
At the top of Erdan's agenda will likely be the possibility that Israel will apply sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, as per US President Donald Trump’s peace plan.
Still speaking as a politician, Erdan said last month: “I believe with all my heart that we have a biblical and legal right to Judea and Samaria. It cannot be that the citizens of Israel who live there have to live under a military government just because the Palestinians have refused to reach a compromise with us for decades. That’s how I view the ‘Deal of the Century.’ As a politician, I say we have to aim to fulfill it.”
The UN arms embargo on Iran is also set to expire in October, and Erdan is likely to play a key role in advocating for its extension.
Hotovely announced about three weeks ago that she agreed to Netanyahu's offer to appoint her as ambassador to the UK.
"It is undoubtedly one of the most senior positions in the foreign service," she told Army Radio at the time. "Britain is very important within Europe and very friendly [to Israel] – certainly under [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson’s government – and that is something that must be leveraged with important diplomatic work.”
A fringe left-wing British Jewish group called Na'amod started a petition against Hotovely's appointment to the role, because she is currently settlements minister and is a vocal advocate of Israel extending its sovereignty in the West Bank. However, diplomatic sources in the UK said it is unlikely that her appointment would be rejected.