Yair Shamir
Yair Shamir Flash 90

Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir will likely be the next Yisrael Beytenu MK to resign from the Knesset, Channel 2 News reported on Monday.

According to the report, the background for his resignation is the alleged connection between his ministry and the Yisrael Beytenu corruption case. The director-general of the Agriculture Ministry was recently detained and questioned in the case.

Shamir is currently on a visit to India, and is expected to announce he is stepping down upon his return to Israel.

He would be joining a slew of Yisrael Beytenu MKs who have recently announced they are stepping down from politics. He was preceded by Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and MK David Rotem.

Shamir, the son of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, chose to join Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu rather than the Likud, the party his father led. Before the last elections, Shamir criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for saying he supports a Palestinian state during the Bar Ilan speech in 2009.

"Netanyahu is zigzagging because he wants to please his voters," Shamir said at the time, adding, "The two-state solution is not in the Likud platform. He made the Bar-Ilan speech that was not approved by the Likud's institutions nor by the Israeli government at that time."

Earlier on Monday, Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum, who is one of the main suspects in the Yisrael Beytenu scandal, announced she was resigning from the Knesset, adding she plans to exercise her right to remain silent in the corruption investigation.

"With a heavy heart and after an extended period of indecision, I have decided that under these circumstances I cannot be investigated in a proper way and I have decided – for lack of an alternative – to remain silent,” she reportedly said.

“Since I accept that choosing to remain silent has many meanings, I decided not to run in the next elections and to devote my time to defending my innocence and helping my family recover,” she added.