PM Netanyahu to meet with Likud MKs ahead of government's swearing-in

PM Netanyahu meets with Likud MKs in attempt to finalize government appointments ahead of Sunday's swearing-in ceremony.

Hezki Baruch ,

PM Netanyahu
PM Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will meet Saturday evening with senior Likud officials, prior to the formation of the next government.

Among those he is scheduled to meet are MKs Avi Dichter, Tzachi Hanegbi, and Gideon Sa'ar. With the meetings, Netanyahu hopes to finalize the government appointments.

Those Likud officials which have not yet received appointments in the next government are Gideon Sa'ar, Nir Barkat, Yoav Galant, Gila Gamliel, Avi DIchter, Ze'ev Elkin, Yuval Steinitz, Tzachi Hanegbi, and Tzipi Hotovely. Both Barkat and Galant are interested in the Education MInistry, while Environmental Protection Minister Elkin and Energy Minister Steinitz would like to remain in their offices.

Netanyahu is pressuring Gamliel to take the Higher Education Ministry, with authorities in the Education Ministry, and last week Barkat refused to become Cyber Affairs Minister.

On Saturday evening, it was announced that MK Eli Cohen would be appointed Intelligence Minister.

"In his position as Economy Minister, Minister Cohen worked hard for the success and prosperity of the Israeli economy, and he will be a central partner in the government which will be formed. The State of Israel has many security challenges, and I trust and am certain that together, we will continue working to protect the State of Israel's strength and security," Netanyahu said.

The government, which was scheduled to be sworn in on Thursday, will instead be sworn in on Sunday at 1:00p.m, as per Netanyahu's request.