Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir
Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir Flash 90

Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Yisrael Beytenu) is expected to announce soon that he is resigning from the Knesset, but staying on as minister. Shamir's resignation will allow another member of Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu party, Leon Litintzky, to join the Knesset.

The parliamentary musical chairs are to be carried out once Operation Protective Edge ends.

The move will not affect the number of Yisrael Beytenu MKs, but will supposedly enhance the party's overall presence in the government and Knesset.

Recently, Alex Miller, who already served as MK in the 17th Knesset, was sworn in to the Knesset in place of Carmel Shama. Shama was sworn in when Reuven Rivlin left the Knesset to become president, but resigned almost immediately, on his way to becoming Israel's ambassador in the OECD.

Minister Shamir's bureau said that “before the end of the previous Knesset term, minister Shamir examined the possibility of resigning from the Knesset in order to be able to devote more time to his ministerial position in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and as the minister responsible for regulation of the Bedouin in the Negev.

"When the security crisis erupted, Minister Shamir decided to postpone the decision to a more proper time, and has yet to make any new decision in the matter.”

The minister is currently in South America on a state visit focusing on hasbara and communication, his bureau added.