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Netanyahu appoints Yariv Levin acting immigration minister

The choice is said to have greatly disappointed ‎Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and ‎Deputy Minister for Public Diplomacy at the Prime ‎Minister’s Office Michael Oren (Kulanu), who were ‎both eyeing the position. ‎

Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday named ‎Tourism Minister Yariv Levin as acting immigrant ‎absorption minister to replace Sofia Landver (Yisrael Beytenu), who resigned last month.‎

Netanyahu’s choice is said to have greatly disappointed ‎Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and ‎Deputy Minister for Public Diplomacy at the Prime ‎Minister’s Office Michael Oren (Kulanu), who were ‎both eyeing the position. ‎

Coalition sources told Israel Hayom that Netanyahu decided not to promote  Hotovely or Oren to avoid being bound by the appointment in any future ‎distribution of government portfolios.

‎Last month, Yisrael Beytenu’s Avigdor Lieberman resigned as defense minister and withdrew his party ‎from the ruling coalition, prompting Landver to also resign. The moves have led to a cabinet reshuffle.

A statement by Levin’s office said, “I thank the ‎prime minister for his confidence in me. Encouraging ‎immigration and immigrant absorption are first and ‎foremost Zionist tasks, and I see it as a privilege ‎to focus on them. I will do everything in my power to increase the ‎immigration to Israel and improve the absorption ‎process of the immigrants who are already here, ‎all while I continue to promote tourism at a time ‎when we are about to set a new record and ‎receive the four millionth tourist.”

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