The Cabinet on Sunday approved the appointment of Settlement Minister Tzipi Hotovely as Israel’s new ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Hotovely, who was settlements minister until the Cabinet vote, and has served as a Likud MK since 2009, is expected to head to London later this month.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Hotovely “for years of dedicated work in the Knesset and the Cabinet.
“I was impressed by your dedicated work, your willingness to learn and … stand up for our rights here to our land, stand up for justice in international struggles,” Netanyahu said. “I am sure these characteristics and experience will be expressed in ways that are important for Israel in the important place you are going to, to England. We know that there are complex challenges there and you have a lot of work.
“I’m sure you’ll succeed,” the prime minister added.
After she accepted the offer from Netanyahu in June, a fringe left-wing Jewish group in the U.K. petitioned for Hotovely to be declared persona non grata, citing her support for extending Israeli sovereignty in Yehudah and Shomron.
Israeli and British diplomatic sources said Hotovely would most likely be accepted, pointing out that the U.K. very rarely rejects ambassadors and that its current government is very friendly to Israel.
Hotovely will replace Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s former spokesperson for international media, who last month finished his five-year term in the U.K. and returned to Israel.
MK Tzachi Hanegbi will replace her as settlements minister.
The Cabinet also approved the appointments of: Irit Ben Abba Vitla as Israeli ambassador to Beijing; Alexander Ben-Zvi as Israeli ambassador to Moscow; Alex Goldman-Sheinman as Israeli ambassador to Minsk; Edward Shapira as Israeli consul general in Shanghai; and Yonathan Tzedaka as Israel’s consul general in Bangalore.