update desk

One less role for Netanyahu as Israel Katz tapped to be Israeli foreign minister

The prime minister still retains the defense and health portfolios.

Israel Katz. Credit: Hebrew Wikipedia.
Israel Katz. Credit: Hebrew Wikipedia.

Israeli Knesset member Yisrael Katz has become Israel’s acting Foreign Minister after being nominated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and voted in by the Cabinet on Sunday.

“This is an exciting moment for me. I’m starting today at the Foreign Ministry with a feeling of the greatness of the mission,” he tweeted.

Katz, who is currently Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Transportation, earned support from right-wing Israelis for his support for the annexation of the Golan Heights, his opposition to the unilateral Israeli disengagement from the Jewish areas of Gaza called “Gush Katif” in 2005, and previous calls to sever ties with the Palestinian Authority and exert complete Israeli sovereignty over all of Judea and Samaria.

He placed third on the Likud Party list in the recent primaries.

Katz was congratulated for the appointment by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, both of whom were considered contenders for the position.

Netanyahu went ahead with the vote under pressure from the High Court of Justice under petition of the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, due to the abnormally high number of ministerial positions he has kept for himself. The prime minister still retains the defense and health portfolios.

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