Despite a promise by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the eve of the last election, former Communications and Welfare Minister Moshe Kahlon will not be appointed as head of the Israel Land Administration (ILA).
Netanyahu met with Kahlon on Tuesday and informed him that he will not be able to go through with his appointment, explaining that the make-up of the coalition makes the move impossible. It is believed that Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who according to Israeli law is also the head of the ILA, was against Kahlon’s appointment. Had Netanyahu's plan to appoint Kahlon been implemented, new legislation would have been required.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who heads a ministerial “housing cabinet” which is tasked with finding ways of lowering housing prices, was also reportedly against the move.
Kahlon, one of the most popular ministers in the last government, announced surprisingly before the last election that he was leaving politics. It was widely believed that the timing of the announcement of his appointment, just two days before the election, was related to Likud's faltering state in the polls at that time.
The opposition at the time slammed Kahlon’s planned appointment, saying it was an election spin by Netanyahu, and ultimately ended up being correct.
The Likud said on Tuesday on behalf of Netanyahu, "The results of the election do not allow us to implement the plans we had. Even today I still believe that only the subordination of the leadership of the ILA to the Prime Minister’s Office, along with Kahlon’s appointment to the position, could significantly reduce prices for the benefit of all the citizens of Israel."