Minister Shaul Mofaz announced Monday that MK Ronnie Bar-On (Kadima) would be replacing him as chairman of the Knesset's powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
The appointment had earlier been approved unanimously in a session of the Kadima faction.
Baron was a private lawyer and a military judge. He served as Minister of National Infrastructures, Minister of Science and Technology, Minister of Interior and Minister of Finance under Kadima governments.
Mofaz told his faction members that the letter Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had sent Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was "a correct move" that showed Israel was interested in renewing the negotiations. "He has good will," he said – apparently referring to Netanyahu – and we will continue to act in order to advance the diplomatic process vis-à-vis the Palestinians."
Regarding the plans to legalize outposts and neighborhoods like Givat HaUlpana in Beit El, Mofaz said: "Some of the bills raised by MKs in this house do not jibe with Kadima's world view. We will oppose them wholeheartedly and if necessary we will act to remove them from the agenda. Kadima will continue to respect the decisions of the High Court."