Dep. Minister Yakov Litzman is appointed Health Minister in place of PM Netanyahu

'Political and legal developments' force UTJ deputy minister to take on role of minister, despite party's usual opposition to the title.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yakov Litzman
Yakov Litzman
Esty Dazyubov, TPS

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday resigned his position as Acting Health Minister, as per the Supreme Court order to give up all but his position as prime minister.

As a result, Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ) took Netanyahu's place as Health Minister, despite his party's usual opposition to its members acting as ministers and insistence that they remain "deputy ministers without a minister above them."

The Health Ministry said: "Due to the political and legal developments, MK Yakov Litzman was appointed to the position of Acting Health Minister, instead of 'deputy minister with the authority of minister,' [the status] which he had held until now."

Sources close to Litzman explained that he accepted the change due to the fact that the authorities he enjoyed as a 'deputy minister with the authority of minister' would be canceled if a minister other than the Prime Minister were to be appointed above him in the office.

A statement from Litzman's office emphasized that the appointment was made "in accordance with the approval of the Council of Torah Sages."

In 2015, Litzman took the position of Health Minister, due to a Supreme Court ruling that the government needed to appoint a minister other than Netanyahu. At the time, Litzman had been serving as Deputy Health Minister, with the responsibilities of a minister.

However, Litzman resigned in 2017 over train construction being done on Shabbat (Sabbath). Shortly afterwards, he returned to the ministry on condition that he be reinstated as Deputy Health Minister.