Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said Friday he was not interested in heading the Communications Ministry, after reports surfaced that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was conisdering him for the job.
While Levin confirmed that Netanyahu was “examining various options” for the ministry, he told Army Radio he was “satisfied with my work at the Tourism Ministry.”
He added that he “would rather continue with my important work in one place rather than hop around all the time.”
Nentanyahu was said to be seeking to replace key Likud ally Tzachi Hanegbi, the current communications minister, in a minor cabinet shakeup.
Hanegbi, seen as close to Netanyahu, was appointed to the post in February for a three-month trial period which expires in four days, after a legal challenge forced Netanyahu to give up the ministry.
Channel 2 news said the switch was seen as a sign that the prime minister was not satisfied with Hanegbi’s handling of the ministry.
Hanegbi told Walla news that he had not yet discussed the subject with the prime minister.
Netanyahu himself had held the communications portfolio from 2015 until three months ago, when he temporarily handed it over to Hanegbi following a High Court petition from opposition lawmakers.
The petition, filed by Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog, demanded the prime minister be suspended from his position as communications minister, arguing revelations from the criminal investigations into Netanyahu disqualified him from holding the post.
According to Herzog’s petition, Netanyahu had to give up the post due to a police investigation into allegations that he and the publisher of the mass daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Arnon Mozes, negotiated an illicit quid pro quo deal that would have seen the prime minister pass legislation to hamper a rival daily in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.