In addition to Netanyahu and Gantz, 32 ministers were sworn in, including the first female ultra-Orthodox minister, Omer Yankelevich (Diaspora affairs), and the first Ethiopia-born minister, Pnina Tamano-Shata (immigration and absorption), in Israel’s history.
A 35th slot, for a minister for minority affairs, has yet to be filled by Blue and White.
Totaling 73 lawmakers, the coalition will include 35 MKs from the Likud party, 16 from the Blue and White party, nine from the Shas party, seven from the United Torah Judaism party, two from the Labor party, two from the Derech Eretz party, one from the Jewish Home party and one from the Gesher party.
The list of ministers is as follows
1. Prime Minister: Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud)
2. Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister: Benny Gantz (Blue and White)
3. Foreign Minister: Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White)
4. Justice Minister: Avi Nissenkorn (Blue and White)
5. Minister in the Defense Ministry responsible for civil affairs: Michael Biton (Blue and White)
6. Culture and Sport Minister: Chili Tropper (Blue and White)
7. Strategic Affairs Minister: Ori Farkash (Blue and White)
8. Equality Minister: Merav Cohen (Blue and White)
9. Tourism Minister: Assaf Zamir (Blue and White)
10. Science and Technology Minister: Yizhar Shai (Blue and White)
11. Diaspora Affairs Minister: Omer Yankelevich (Blue and White)
12. Immigration and Absorption Minister: Pnina Tamano-Shata (Blue and White)
13. Agriculture Minister: Alon Shuster (Blue and White)
14. Economy Minister: Amir Peretz (Labor)
15. Welfare Minister: Itzik Shmuli (Labor)
16. Communications Minister: Yoaz Hendel (Likud)
17. Finance Minister: Israel Katz (Likud)
18. Health Minister: Yuli Edelstein (Likud)
19. Transportation Minister: Miri Regev (Likud)
20. Public Security Minister: Amir Ohana (Likud)
21. Energy Minister: Yuval Steinitz (Likud)
22. Higher Education and Water Resources Minister: Ze’ev Elkin (Likud)
23. Education Minister: Yoav Gallant (Likud)
24. Regional Cooperation Minister: Gilad Erdan (Likud, to be replaced by Likud MK Ofir Akunis when Erdan is confirmed as ambassador to the UN)
25. Intelligence Minister: Eli Cohen (Likud)
26. Settlements Minister: Tzipi Hotovely (Likud)
27. Minister responsible for liaising between the government and the Knesset: David Amsalem (Likud)
28. Environmental Protection Minister: Gila Gamliel (Likud)
29. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office: Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud)
30. Jerusalem Affairs Minister: Rafi Peretz (Jewish Home)
31. Community Strengthening and Advancement Minister: Orly Levy-Abekasis (Gesher)
32. Interior Minister and Negev and Galil Development Minister: Aryeh Deri (Shas)
33. Religious Affairs Minister: Yaakov Avitan (Shas)
34. Housing Minister: Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism)
35. Minister for Minority Affairs: Not yet named (Blue and White)
Speaking at the cabinet’s first meeting, which took place in the Knesset’s Chagall Hall immediately after the swearing-in ceremony, Netanyahu told the new ministers that the pandemic tops the government’s agenda.
“The first mission is the coronavirus and the health” crisis, he said. “So long as the virus is here and there is no vaccine, it can come back overnight.”
“The fact that we managed to prevent it [from spreading widely] doesn’t mean we can prevent” another wave, said Netanyahu, stressing that the “coronavirus routine” will last for a long time. “I don’t want to say how long,” he said, but added that he hoped to be proven wrong.
The second mission, he continued, would be to pass a state budget and revive the economy, which he acknowledged may not quickly be restored to its pre-coronavirus state.
The third item would be to combat Iran, he said.
The fourth was fighting the war crimes probe in the International Criminal Court. “This is a troubling development… This is a strategic threat” to Israel and the IDF, he said, adding that he rarely used such language.
The fifth was the diplomatic issue of West Bank annexation. “I don’t hide my intention to bring it quickly to the cabinet,” he said.
Netanyahu asserted that the new government will defy predictions and last longer than expected.
Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu and Gantz presented Israel’s 35th government at the Knesset ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, defending its bloat and patchwork makeup of values against numerous heckles by livid opposition lawmakers.
Setting aside three rancorous elections, Netanyahu said in the Knesset plenum that he was sure he and Gantz would work successfully together in government the same way they did during the 2014 war in Gaza, when Gantz was IDF chief of staff.
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