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Gallant and Shasha-Biton sworn in as ministers, in cabinet reshuffle

Gallant, who quit Kulanu to join Likud, takes immigration portfolio; Shasha-Biton of his former party replaces him in housing

MK Yifat Shasha-Biton leads a children's rights committee meeting at the Knesset, January 10, 2017 (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
MK Yifat Shasha-Biton leads a children's rights committee meeting at the Knesset, January 10, 2017 (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The Knesset Wednesday approved the appointments of Yifat Shasha-Biton (Kulanu) as housing minister and Yoav Gallant as immigration minister.

The two were sworn in to their new positions immediately after the vote, a Knesset statement said.

Gallant resigned last week as housing minister and quit the Kulanu party in order to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party. He will be fighting for a position in the February 5 party primaries to determine Likud’s slate for the next elections.

Under inter-party agreements signed when the government was formed in 2015, the Housing Ministry is held by Kulanu, while the Absorption Ministry is now in Likud’s hands following the withdrawal in November of the Yisrael Beytenu faction from the coalition.

Then-minister of housing Yoav Gallant speaks at the 15th annual Jerusalem Conference of the ‘Besheva’ group, on February 12, 2018. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

“Time is short and there is much work. I intend to serve as full-time minister, to fight for one hundred percent results for one hundred percent of the public,” Shasha-Biton said in a tweet, adding that “the revolution continues.”

With elections coming up in April, Gallant faced some heckling before the vote.

“Are you kidding us? Do you really think that Minister Gallant is going to work at the Absorption Ministry?” said opposition member Yoel Hasson (Hatnua). “He’s not interested in this ministry and neither is the prime minister.”

Both Shasha-Biton and Gallant are only likely to remain in their jobs for five to six months, holding the posts until the April 9 election and for however long afterward it takes the election’s winners to negotiate the next coalition and government.

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