(June 2, 2019 / Israel Hayom) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has fired Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, according to Israeli daily Israel Hayom.
No exact reason was cited for the decision, although there has been speculation of an upcoming reshuffle in Netanyahu’s transition government as they gear up for the Sept. 17 election.
The 21st Knesset dissolved last month barely a month after being inaugurated, after Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman refused to join Netanyahu’s coalition over a bill regulating the conscription of ultra-Orthodox Israelis.
Bennett and Shaked ran as the leaders of the New Right Party but failed to cross the electoral threshold.
Because the Knesset has dissolved, Netanyahu no longer needs a governing coalition because no-confidence votes cannot be held until the election. That means he can appoint and fire ministers almost without consulting anyone.
Netanyahu is currently trying to curry favor with the Russian-speaking electorate. There is speculation that he could make certain moves in the coming months to make his candidacy more appealing to voters from the former Soviet Union, in light of the rift with Lieberman, who relies on the Russian vote.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.