New cabinet to be the largest in Israel’s history
search

New cabinet to be the largest in Israel’s history

Coalition agreement includes 32 ministers for emergency government, swelling to 36 at end of coronavirus crisis; foreign and energy portfolios to rotate

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hands clasped as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, March. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, Pool)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hands clasped as he chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, March. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, Pool)

The new government will feature 32 ministers, swelling to 36 once the coronavirus crisis is over, according to the coalition agreement signed late Monday, making it the largest government in Israeli history.

Likud incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu will continue as prime minister for the first 18 months, to be succeeded by Benny Gantz. The Blue and White leader will be acting prime minister for the first 18 months, and Netanyahu will be acting prime minister for the second 18 months.

In the event that Netanyahu is disqualified by the High Court of Justice from being acting prime minister due to the corruption charges pending against him, parliament will be dissolved and Israel will again go to elections.

The number of ministers will be divided equally between the Netanyahu- and Gantz-led blocs. Each bloc will have 16 ministers during the emergency period, rising to 18 within 30 days of the termination of the emergency period. Each bloc will also be entitled to eight deputy ministers.

The position of Knesset speaker will be held by the Likud, while the positions of foreign minister, energy minister and environmental protection minister will rotate upon the change of prime minister.

Likud’s bloc will hold the Finance, Education, Public Security, Interior, Transportation, Housing and Construction, Health, Religious Services, Intelligence, and Regional Cooperation ministries, as well as the Ministry for the Galilee, Negev and Periphery, and the Ministry for Jerusalem.

Blue and White will receive the Justice, Economy, Labor and Welfare, Communications, Agriculture, Culture and Sports, Absorption, Tourism, Minorities, Diaspora, Science and Space, Strategic Affairs, and Social Affairs ministries.

Orly-Levy Abekasis, who split her Gesher faction from Labor, is expected to receive a portfolio from Likud. Gantz is reportedly set to appoint an Arab Israeli minister for minorities.

Among the likely ministers:
Defense minister: Benny Gantz
Finance minister: Israel Katz (Likud)
Foreign minister (first term): Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White)
Justice minister: Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White)
Housing and construction: Reserved for a Likud MK
Education: Reserved for a Likud MK
Economy: Amir Peretz (Labor)
Social welfare: Itzik Shmuli (Labor)
Public security: Miri Regev (Likud)
Health: Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism)
Education: Reserved for a Yamina MK, if Yamina joins the coalition
Transportation: Reserved for a Likud MK
Interior: Aryeh Deri (Shas)
Absorption: Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White)
Culture: Either Assaf Zamir or Miki Haimovich (Blue and White)
Communications: Orit Farkash Hacohen (Blue and White) or Yoaz Hendel (Derech Eretz)
Knesset Speaker: Yariv Levin (Likud)

read more:
comments