Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired the two New Right ministers, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett, from his cabinet Sunday afternoon, after they joined the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday morning for the first time since the April 9th election in which the two failed to retain their Knesset seats.
Netanyahu, outraged by their participation in the cabinet meeting, fired the two ministers shortly afterwards, giving them the 48-hour notification of their termination from the government.
Shaked and Bennett lost their seats after their New Right party narrowly failed to clear the 3.25% electoral threshold in the April elections. Nevertheless, the two retained their ministries in the transitional government, after Netanyahu failed to form a new coalition and dissolved the 21st Knesset.
The Prime Minister has hoped to blunt the two New Right leaders’ electoral strength by removing them from his government.
On Sunday morning, Netanyahu urged Union of Right-Wing Parties’ chief Rafi Peretz to formally request that Netanyahu fire Shaked and Bennett and transfer their ministries back to the Jewish Home and National Union factions.
At the behest of National Union chief Bezalel Smotrich, however, Peretz did not submit the letter calling for Bennett and Shaked’s termination.
Despite the failure of the United Right to formally demand the ministries, Netanyahu removed Bennett and Shaked, hoping to prevent them from attending this Tuesday’s security cabinet meeting.
Following the removal of the two ministers, the United Right has called on Netanyahu to tap MKs Peretz and Smotrich to the Education and Justice ministries respectively.