Yuli Edelstein, most recently Speaker of the Knesset, accepted an offer on Tuesday from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to become the nation’s next health minister.

In a joint statement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Likud Knesset member Edelstein said he chose the position over others offered to him.

Edelstein served as Knesset Speaker from 2013 until March of this year, when he resigned after a dispute with Israel’s Supreme Court.

“After serving Israel’s citizens for seven years as Knesset speaker, I have chosen to accept the most central and significant challenge Israel faces—the fight against the coronavirus and preparing Israel’s health system for new challenges,” he said, according to a report by Ynet.

Israeli Knesset member and minister Yariv Levin. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

In the released statement, Netanyahu said that Edelstein would also be part of his Security Cabinet, in addition to deputy chairman of a ministerial body overseeing the response to COVID-19.

The move came after Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov resigned on May 12 after managing Israel’s response to the pandemic for the past few months. Outgoing Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is set to become the Housing and Construction Minister.

Yamina was reportedly upset with the appointment of Edelstein, as party chairman and current Defense Minister Naftali Bennett was seeking the position.

Meanwhile, Yariv Levin of Likud is set to become Speaker of the Knesset after being appointed by the Likud Party in a unanimous vote.

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