Gantz Resigns as Knesset Speaker Ahead of Swearing in of New Government

Benny Gantz submitted his resignation as Knesset speaker ahead of the swearing in of the new government on Thursday.

Gantz's resignation as speaker will take 48 hours to go into effect and until then he can still rescind his decision. The Knesset bylaws strictly state that a lawmaker cannot be a minister and Knesset speaker simultaneously. Gantz is expected to be appointed as defense minister on Thursday when the government is sworn in.

According to the coalition deal, the post of Knesset speaker will pass to a Likud candidate, who is expected to hold the position for the length of the governments tenure, even after Gantz takes over as prime minister in October 2021.

The next Knesset speaker is expected to be Likud's Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin, who had submitted his resignation and been approved for the position by the Likud party.

Yuli Edelstein, who served as Knesset Speaker before Gantz for seven years, accepted Netanyahu's offer of serving as Health Minister on Tuesday.

On Monday, Netanyahu announced that Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan will take on the post of Israel’s Ambassador to both the United States and the United Nations. Erdan reportedly accepted the offer because he realized many Likud lawmakers were vying for relatively few government portfolios in the new government

With Edelstein to serve as health minister and Erdan tapped as ambassador, the current battle in Likud seems to be over the public security portfolio. The contenders are Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev and Justice Minister Amir Ohana, with the scales apparently tipping toward the latter. Barring last-minute changes, Regev is apparently slated to head the Transportation Ministry.