The Knesset is expected to approve this evening the appointment of Likud MK David (Dudi) Amsalem as Minister within the Justice Ministry, Regional Cooperation Minister and Ministerial Liaison to the Knesset, according to reports by Yisrael Hayom on Sunday.
Amsalem will take over the position of regional cooperation minister and ministerial liaison to the Knesset from Education Minister Yoav Kisch, who has served in the position since the government's formation on December 29.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first announced the appointment on February 7, but it was delayed reportedly due to disagreements over what authorities Amsalem would receive within the ministry. Amsalem also demanded control over the Government Companies Authority, which is currently part of the finance ministry.
Netanyahu reportedly met with Amsalem and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Thursday evening in order to receive Smotrich's consent for the Authority to move to the justice ministry under Amsalem.
Ansalem's absence noted in recent votes
Amsalem did not attend a number of votes in recent months due to the appointment's delay and publicly criticized Netanyahu. The issue became acute last week when Amsalem and fellow Likud MK David Bitan announced that they were boycotting all voting.
The boycott's official reason was unrelated - a lack of budgetary sources for a law proposal that would cancel VAT on a number of cancer treatments. However, a source in the Likud confirmed that this was an excuse, and meant to cover up the real reason for his and Bitan's boycotting of Knesset votes.
Due to Amsalem and Bitan's absence, the Incapacitation Bill barely passed last week, as it had exactly 61 votes, any less of which would have killed the bill. The bill blocked the attorney general's ability to announce a prime minister "incapacitated" and unable to fill his or her position due to a conflict of interests.
Amsalem's appointment likely will end the threat and guarantee his and Bitan's votes in the plenum this week.