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Death Blow? Home Front Minister Hands in Resignation

Minister Erdan asked Netanyahu to be removed from post due to lack of authority, says Home Front Ministry should be closed.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 4/22/2014, 10:37 PM

Gilad Erdan
Gilad Erdan
Flash 90

Home Front Minister Gilad Erdan sent a letter of resignation from his post as minister to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, in which he also recommended that the Home Front Ministry be closed due to a lack of authority.

Erdan asked to be relieved of his position by the end of May, potentially drawing to a close the struggle with the Defense Ministry for authority that led Maj.-Gen. (res.) Dan Ronen, Director of the Home Front Ministry, to hand in his resignation earlier on Tuesday.

"The Home Front Ministry needs one clear responsible figure, which will hold all the needed authority, and the division of authority between the Home Front Defense Ministry and the Defense Ministry does not allow the Home Front to be prepared in a professional manner," wrote Erdan in his letter.

The Defense Ministry and Home Front Ministry have been at odds over authority for a long time, with Erdan demanding authority over the IDF's Home Front Command which is currently under the Defense Ministry, which has refused to transfer various matters pertaining to civilian defense to the Home Front Defense Ministry’s auspices.

Sources in the defense forces responded to Erdan's announcement, telling Channel 10 that "only the IDF and the Defense Ministry can take care of Home Front emergency situations and no one else, whether that's in war, rockets falling, or earthquakes and storms."

Erdan's retirement can not be considered surprising; speaking to Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio) two months ago the minister said "if by the end of the month clear decisions aren't made regarding the transfer of budgets, I won't be able to continue as head of the Ministry. The Ministry doesn't have the tools and the ability to fulfill its duty."

The decision to step down will not remove Erdan from the government, as he also serves as Communications Minister. It remains unclear whether Erdan will continue to serve as a member on the security cabinet.