New Israeli Government Takes Office

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu officially took office Tuesday, as the nation's 32nd government made up some 30 ministers was sworn in.

Netanyahu succeeds Ehud Olmert, who was forced from office by multiple corruption investigations.

On Monday, Netanyahu let senior Likud ministers know to which of 12 government bureaus they've been assigned.

Member of Knesset (MK) Reuven Rivlin is expected to be confirmed for his second term as Knesset speaker.

MK Gideon Sa'ar will head the Education Ministry and Prof. Yaakov Ne'eman the Justice Ministry.

Some political analysts have suggested that former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya'alon will head the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and MKs Benny Begin, son of the late Menachem Begin, and Dan Meridor, whose brother Salai served as U.S. ambassador, will serve as ministers in the Prime Minister's Office.

Other speculation includes MK Yisrael Katz to replace outing Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz (Kadima); MK Gilad Erdan to head the Environmental Protection Ministry; MK Moshe Kahlon to serve as communications minister; and former Education Minister in the Sharon government MK Limor Livnat to take over the Science, Culture and Sports Ministry.

Other Positions

Other positions to be named are finance minister, vice premier, minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee, and Knesset liaison.

MK Zeev Elkin will replace Gideon Sa'ar as Likud faction chairman.

Labor appointments begin with Ehud Barak, who will continue as defense minister, with MK Matan Vilnai remaining deputy defense minister; MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has been appointed to head Industry, Trade and Labor, with MK Orit Noked serving as his deputy minister; MK Shalom Simhon will lead the Ministry of Agriculture; and Isaac Herzog will continue as minister of social affairs.

MK Avishai Braverman will head the minority affairs and also serve on the socio-economic cabinet.

MK Avigdor Lieberman Yisrael Beiteinu will replace outgoing Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who declined to join a unity government to lead the opposition.

Source: Ynet news

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