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Gilad Erdan.(Photo by: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Gilad Erdan confirmed as interior minister, succeeding Sa'ar
By LAHAV HARKOV
11/05/2014
Erdan will continue to be responsible for the Israel Broadcast Authority and the public broadcast reform he began earlier this year.
The Knesset approved Gilad Erdan’s appointment as interior minister Wednesday, two days after Gideon Sa’ar left the post to spend more time with his family.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid announced, in the name of the government, that Erdan was appointed as interior minister and will continue to serve as communications minister for two weeks, at which point Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will have the job. However, Erdan will continue to be responsible for the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the public broadcast reform he began earlier this year.

The Knesset approved the message with 58 in favor and 13 opposed.

MK Eli Yishai (Shas), who served two terms as interior minister, said that Sa’ar did the right thing in forcing supermarkets in Tel Aviv to be closed on Saturdays and that any responsible minister would do the same.

“Erdan is a hardworking minister who did good work in the ministries he held, and I believe he will do the same in the Interior Ministry,” Yishai said.

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) pointed out that the Interior Ministry deals with important topics such as shops closing on Shabbat and illegal migration, as well as planning for construction, which she called for Erdan to “revolutionize.”

“You have a critical key to the housing crisis,” Zandberg said.

MK Uri Maklev (UTJ) referred to the soured relations between Sa’ar and Netanyahu, saying “everyone knows why ministers are leaving the government, and even Erdan debated taking other jobs,” such as ambassador to the UN, which Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman offered him.

“There is a lack of trust within the government and within Likud,” he said.

“The members of this government have nothing in common. The public can’t have confidence in the government when even in the Likud there is no confidence in its leader, Netanyahu.”

Also Wednesday, MK Leon Litinetsky (Yisrael Beytenu) was sworn in to replace Sa’ar, of Likud. The two parties ran together for the Knesset but split earlier this year. However, their joint list remains, and Yisrael Beytenu now has 13 MKs, while Likud has 18.

With Sa’ar’s departure, Yesh Atid became the largest party in the coalition, with 19 seats.

Litinetsky, 47, served as a Labor Party MK in the 17th Knesset but switched parties before the last election, saying that Labor was no longer concerned with immigrants’ needs. He is now on the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee and the Control Committee.
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