With agreements in hand, most already signed, the new coalition government is on its way. Following is a look of what the new government will look like.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to also serve as Foreign Minister, opting to hold the senior position to offer a future coalition partner. Two Likud ministers will remain in the same position they were in during the tenure of the 19th Knesset. They are Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett will serve as Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs. Ayelet Shaked will serve as Minister of Justice. Uri Ariel will serve as Minister of Agriculture.
Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon will serve as Minister of Finance and Yoav Gallant Housing Minister. A third person will, most likely Avi Gabbai, will serve as Minister of Environmental Affairs.
Shas leader Aryeh Deri will serve as Minister of the Economy and Minister of Galil & Negev Development. He will most likely also serve as Minister of Religious Services. Shas will also have a Deputy Minister in the Finance Minister in charge of the District Planning Committee, most likely Yitzchak Cohen.
Yahadut Hatorah faction leader Yaakov Litzman will serve as Deputy Health Minister with ministerial authority.
The remaining cabinet appointments will remain in the Likud, with Silvan Shalom, Gilad Erdan, Yuval Steinitz and Tzachi Hanegbi battling for the position of Foreign Ministry. It does appear Mr. Netanyahu will hold it and appoint a deputy minister who will run the ministry day-to-day.
Cabinet appointments that remain include Minister of Water & Energy, Ministry of the Interior, Minister of Public Security, Minister of Intelligence & Strategic Affairs, Minister of Welfare, Minister of Communications, Minister of Tourism, Minister of Culture & Sport, and Minister of Science. There is also the chairmanship of a number of committees including the prestigious Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee.
The Security Cabinet will have 11 members including PM Netanyahu, DM Ya’alon, Bennett, Shaked, Deri, Kahlon, and five additional Likud ministers. It is likely that due to tensions between the prime minister and Bayit Yehudi, the elite Forum of Seven that existed in the 18th Knesset will come to life once again, excluding both Bennett and Shaked and two others.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)