Oren Hazan to become deputy coalition chairman
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Oren Hazan to become deputy coalition chairman

David Bitan appoints controversial Likud lawmaker, mired in scandals, to important role; 'Time to give him something'

Likud parliament members David Bitan (R) and Oren Hazan seen during a Likud faction meeting in the Knesset, January 9, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Likud parliament members David Bitan (R) and Oren Hazan seen during a Likud faction meeting in the Knesset, January 9, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Coalition chairman David Bitan appointed Oren Hazan as his deputy Monday, saying the Likud backbencher is owed a political appointment.

Hazan, known for his brash, unorthodox style, has been dogged by a series of scandals, eventually being stripped of his deputy Knesset speaker role last year.

The coalition chairman position is responsible for shepherding government legislation through the Knesset and keeping coalition members in line, akin to the whip position in Congress.

“He’s gotten a lot of promises in the past, but they haven’t come to be, and it’s time to give him something back,” Bitan said, according to Walla news.

When asked if Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein agreed to the appointment, Bitan told Walla: “Everyone knows about it.”

Hazan previously served on the Foreign Affairs and Defense and the Knesset Committee, but was expelled following a long list of controversies and scandals.

Most recently, in December the attorney general’s office said it would hold a hearing for Hazan before deciding whether to press charges in an assault case dating back some two years, prior to his election to the Knesset.

Hazan is suspected of assaulting a senior official in the municipality of the West Bank settlement of Ariel in 2014 in an apparent dispute over a debt. After the city froze his bank account, Hazan went to the office, where he cursed and pushed the municipal director, the statement said.

Thirty-five-year-old Hazan got engaged to Rinat Kotkovsky last Wednesday.

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