Communications Minister Gilad Erdan
Communications Minister Gilad ErdanFlash 90

With Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar announcing Wednesday that he had decided that he needed a break from politics – and would resign his post – speculation mounted Thursday as to whom Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would nominate for the important post. According to reports, that candidate is likely to be Communications Minister Gilad Erdan, for whom appointment to the Interior Ministry would be a bump up in status.

According to the reports, Erdan was set to be nominated as Israel's ambassdor to the UN when current Ambassador Ron Prosor's term ended at the end of this year. Sa'ar's resignation took Netanyahu by surprise, and Netanyahu has decided that he needs to keep his remaining key allies – like Sa'ar – near him.

Sa'ar, who was Finance Minister in Netanyahu's last government, is considered the Likud politician closest to the Prime Minister, who gave up his coveted spot at Finance in order to allow the entry of Yesh Atid into the new government.

A day after announcing his resignation, Sa'ar wrote on a Facebook page that he wished “to thank from the bottom of my heart the people who have supported me, and I apologize to those whom I hurt and frustrated on Wednesday. After 20 years in public service, I will be leaving my day job, but not the ideals that I have been fighting for.”

If Erdan is indeed moved to Interior, that means his current job at Communications will be open. Both MK Gila Gamliel and Yariv Levin said in interviews over the past day that Netanyahu had promised them a ministry when and if a post opened up. In an interview with Army Radio, Gamliel said that she, too, had been shocked by the announcement. “This proves that surprises are still possible in politics,” she said.

Sa'ar made the announcement to friends and associates at the traditional 'toast for the New Year' at his Ramat Gan home. "Public service is eroding, and there is a need to make a change," he said. "Following numerous consultations [with colleagues], I have decided to take a break from public life. After the holidays, I intend to submit my resignation from the government and Knesset," he continued. "Everything will be carried out in an orderly fashion."