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January 1, 2023 2:03 pm

Israel’s New Ministers Undergo Transition of Power on 1st Day

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avatar by i24 News

MK Bezalel Smotrich. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

i24News – Israel’s incoming ministers were given their respective portfolios from the outgoing leaders in Sunday’s transition of power ceremonies.

At the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem, now former finance minister Avigdor Liberman handed the reigns to far-right politician Bezalel Smotrich. The Religious Zionism leader congratulated Liberman on his policies.

He pledged to work for all Israelis before adding: “I’m not sure that all of our steps will be popular, but hopefully they will prove to be correct over time.” In his first move in office, Smotrich nixed the tax on sugary drinks as well as disposable plastic utensils and flatware.

Ultra-Orthodox lawmaker Yizhak Goldknopf replaced Ze’ev Elkin as Israel’s Housing and Construction Minister, noting in his speech he plans to advance West Bank construction.

Goldknopf also said he would help Israeli veterans find affordable housing. Finally, he addressed his comments from last month, where he said, “I don’t know if there really is a (housing) crisis.”

“Of course, I did not mean that there was ‘no crisis,'” The lawmaker said on Sunday. “But rather, I am new to the job and therefore am not familiar enough with the causes of the housing crisis.” He noted that the solution to the crisis is “found in the West Bank.”

Yifat Shasha-Biton gave the education ministry to Yoav Kisch, asking him not to “take the system backward.” Kisch said in response that the system would “change course.”

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