Minister of Transportation Yisrael Katz (Likud) will be appointed as interim Finance minister, according to reports in the Israeli media on Monday.
This supplanted earlier rumors that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would manage the Finance portfolio himself, at least until the Likud primaries on January 6. But sealing Katz’s loyalty turned out to be the more urgent priority. Netanyahu needs him to help ensure that a possible challenge for party chairmanship by former Interior Minister Gideon Saar will not succeed.
The other portfolios, emptied out since the firing of the ministers of Justice, Health, Science, and Education, remain up for grabs. However, the law stipulates that during an interim government, ministers who do not already hold a portfolio may not be appointed.
According to Globes, it seems likely that those positions will be filled by Likud ministers, though it’s possible that a minister from Jewish Home will get a ministry.