Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu handed out additional ministerial positions to members of the Likud and Shas parties after he resigned this week from all of his ministerial positions. The resignation came as a result of the indictment letter that was handed down against Netanyahu by the Attorney General back in November.
The new appointments included MK David Bitton as the new Minister of Agriculture, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzippi Hotovely was appointed Minister of the Diaspora, Deputy Minister Itzik Cohen from Shas was appointed the Minister of Construction and Housing, and Shasha Bitton who was a former MK with the Kulanu party will be appointed as the Social Services Minister.
Netanyahu received a lot of criticism surrounding the appointment of David Bitton as the Agriculture Minister as he too is facing a letter of indictment.
A high-ranking member of the Likud faction said that Netanyahu had promised Bitton the position long before the letter of indictment was filed against him and that the Prime Minister kept his word.
MK Nir Barkat from the Likud had expected to receive a ministerial position, after all the work he did on behalf of Netanyahu during the recent primary elections for the leadership of the party. Barkat was disappointed.
Degel HaTorah was also demanding the position of Deputy Minister in place of Minister for MK Uri Maklev. They too were disappointed. Faction leader Moshe Gafni met together with Maklev and Netnayahu earlier this afternoon. During the meeting, Netanyahu offered Maklev numerous portfolios including the Deputy Treasury Minister. However, Maklev and Gafni turned down all of the positions because they were de facto deputy positions, and not deputy-in-place-of-a-minister positions, and sources in Degel HaTorah said that these positions have no value.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)