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Netanyahu said to ask for all of outgoing PM Lapid’s drivers to be replaced

Unusual request comes despite convoy employees being career professionals; Lapid says some have been on duty for 20 years, asks Netanyahu: ‘What have they done wrong?’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen surrounded by security as he enters his car, after an unofficial, surprise visit in Givatayim, near Tel Aviv on November 9, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen surrounded by security as he enters his car, after an unofficial, surprise visit in Givatayim, near Tel Aviv on November 9, 2020. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Among other far-reaching changes he aims to drive after he returns to power, presumed incoming prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly made an unusual request — to replace all the drivers currently serving outgoing premier Yair Lapid.

The Kan public broadcaster reported Tuesday that Netanyahu, expected to regain power in the coming weeks, has made his request to the Prime Minister’s Office, along with a list of drivers he trusts and wants to be part of his official convoy.

The request is unusual because while the prime minister is entitled to appoint his own private driver, the rest of the drivers in the premier’s convoy are public servants appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office and aren’t connected to a particular politician.

Netanyahu reportedly said his request came for reasons of “preserving trust,” with Kan saying it may be due to “wariness or over-cautiousness.”

Lapid slammed the request, saying that some of the convoy’s drivers have been in their role for over 20 years and that they are “good and professional people, with families.”

Some of the drivers presumably already worked under Netanyahu.

“Today it was publicized that Netanyahu’s office is demanding the replacement of ‘anyone who worked with Lapid.’ With no explanation or reason,” Lapid tweeted.

“Professionals who did nothing wrong are suddenly being targeted and will have their conditions rolled back, maybe being fired,” he added. “How easy it is to harm people, and why? What have they done wrong?”

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