Netanyahu Fires Ministers Bennett and Shaked

YERUSHALAYIM -
Education Minister Naftali Bennett arrives to the weekly cabinet meeting, at the Prime Minister’s office in Yerushalayim, on Sunday. He was fired after the meeting. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked on Sunday, removing the two from his cabinet.

The Prime Minister’s Office informed Bennett and Shaked that they would no longer be serving as Education Minister and Justice Minister respectively, following the failure of their party to cross the electoral threshold in the April election. According to Netanyahu, the two can not continue to serve in a sensitive role in the cabinet for six months, especially as they have not been elected by the public.

They both attended Sunday’s Cabinet meeting for the first time since the election.

Former ministers Bennett and Shaked issued a statement saying that they “thank the Israeli public for the rare privilege we have had to serve in our roles as education and justice ministers. All we did was for the good of the State of Israel and its citizens.”

They added that they “will transfer the ministries we headed in an orderly manner to the ministers who will replace us in order to maintain the continuous and good functioning of the ministries of Education and Justice, so that the next school year will open as usual.”

According to a report on Kan news, Netanyahu asked Union of Right-Wing Parties heads Rabbi Rafi Peretz and Betzalel Smotrich to demand the dismissal of Shaked and Bennett as minister, and the two refused. The URP has asked Netanyahu to assume these portfolios.