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March 15, 2013 2:25 pm

Netanyahu’s New Cabinet Takes Shape

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Yair Lapid in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

After a coalition agreement for the next Israeli government was apparently reached between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid, and Habayit Hayehudi party head Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu’s cabinet is taking shape, Israel Hayom reported.

According to Israeli law, the prime minister, defense minister, foreign minister, justice minister, public security minister and finance minister must be members of the diplomatic-security cabinet. Judging by the near-final coalition agreements, these positions will be manned by Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon (defense), Tzipi Livni (justice), Yitzhak Aharonovitch (public security), and Yair Lapid (finance). They will be joined by Bennett. This means that the cabinet could comprise only six members, as opposed to the 15-member cabinet in Netanyahu’s last government.

The coalition agreement was signed Friday by Bennett and was also set to be signed by Lapid after Bennett, Netanyahu’s former adviser, had held up the finalization of the agreement Thursday because neither he nor Lapid had been granted the title of “deputy prime minister,” Haaretz reported.

Habayit Hayehudi officials claim the Likud-Beytenu negotiations team had promised Bennett that title, but Likud-Beytenu said no such promise was made.

Bennett in the new government is heading a “ministerial committee for cost of living, economic centralization and increasing competitiveness,” according to Haaretz, while Yesh Atid will lead a “joint Knesset committee on the universal Israel Defense Forces draft.”

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