Netanyahu appoints Sa’ar as Interior Minister & Ya’alon as Defense Minister


PM says Ya’alon has all the necessary experience to deal with ‘turmoil around us’ & that Erdan will be the Home-Front defense minister, placed in charge of strategic talks with the U.S.

Gideon Sa’ar to head the Interior Ministry.

Moran Azulay


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed Likud Knesset Member Moshe Ya’alon that he will be replacing Ehud Barak as defense minister.

Ya’alon, who currently serves as minister of strategic affairs, was one of several Likud members who were summoned to the Prime Minister’s Office Sunday morning. Many of the lawmakers from the ruling party expected a promotion.

“During such a crucial time for the security of the State of Israel, when everything is in turmoil around us, it is important that a man with Moshe Ya’alon’s experience hold this position,” Netanyahu said. “In the name of all of Israel‘s citizens, I wish him good luck.”

Ya’alon said following the announcement of his new appointment that “the IDF, led by Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, has excellent, ideological and experienced commanders leading with responsibility and discretion.”

“It is a huge honor for me to be the defense minister of such worthy soldiers and commanders,” he added, while listing a number of significant threats to Israel: Iranian nuclear weapons, the jolt to the Arab world and threats from the north and the Gaza Strip.

MK Danny Danon was named deputy defense minister.

MK Gilad Erdan was appointed minister of home front defense and communications minister. He will also be a member of the Political-Security Cabinet and in charge of Israel’s strategic dialogue with the US.

MK Haim Katz said he will continue serving as the head of the Knesset’s Labor, Welfare and Health Committee, at Netanyahu’s request.

Gideon Sa’ar, who served as education minister in the previous cabinet; was appointed interior minister, while MK Ofir Akunis was named deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report.


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