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Israel Cabinet & Ministers: Thirty-Fifth Government

(May 17, 2020 - )

The Israeli government sworn in on May 17, 2020, 508 days after the political stalemate began that led to three elections. This will be the largest in the Israel’s history with 36 cabinet ministers and 16 deputy ministers. Many new ministries and portfolios had to be created to accommodate the various factions in the coalition. Benny Gantz, in particular, insisted that almost every member of his Kahol Lavan party receive a position.

Among the new ministers are the first Ethiopian-born female cabinet minister, Pnina Tamano-Shata, who will serve as Minster for Immigration and Integration, and the first female ultra-orthodox Israeli cabinet minister, Omer Yankelevich, who was appointed Diaspora Affairs Minister.

The coalition agreement also extends Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s record-setting tenure as prime minister until November 17, 2021, after which Gantz will become prime minister. At that time, some of the ministers will also switch jobs.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud)

Defense Minister (second term: Prime Minister) Benny Gantz (Kahol Lavan)

Foreign Affairs Minister (second term: Defense Minister) Gabi Ashkenazi (Kahol Lavan)

Finance Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud)

Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn (Kahol Lavan)

Public Security Minister Amir Ohana (Likud)

Health Minister Yuli Edelstein (Likud)

Transportation Minister (second term: Foreign Minister)  Miri Regev (Likud)

Education Minister Yoav Galant (Likud)

Tourism Minister Asaf Zamir (Kahol Lavan)

Negev and Galilee Development Minister and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas)

Economy Minister Amir Peretz (Labor)

Housing and Construction Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism)

Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services Minister Itzik Shmuli (Labor)

Strategic Affairs Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen (Kahol Lavan)

Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel (Derech Eretz)

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud)

Environmental Protection Minister Ze'ev Elkin (Likud)

Immigrant Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano-Shata (Kahol Lavan)

Culture and Sports Minister Chili Tropper (Kahol Lavan)

Social Equality Minister Meirav Cohen (Kahol Lavan)

Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich (Kahol Lavan)

Agriculture Minister Alon Schuster (Kahol Lavan)

Community Development Minister Orly Levy-Abekasis (Gesher)

Religious Services Minister Yaakov Avitan (Shas)

Jerusalem Affairs Minister Rafi Peretz (Habayit Hayehudi)

Science and Technology Minister Izhar Shay (Kahol Lavan)

Settlement Affairs Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), to be replaced with Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) for the second term

Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud)

Intelligence Affairs Minister Eli Cohen (Likud)

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud)

Higher Education and Water Resources Minister (second term: Transportation Minister) Ze'ev Elkin (Likud)

Minister in the Defense Ministry Michael Biton (Kahol Lavan)

Minister David Amsalem (Likud), responsible for liaison between the cabinet and the Knesset

Sources: Chaim Levinson and Jonathan Lis, “Israel's Biggest Gov't Ever Takes Oath: The Complete List of Ministers,” Haaretz, (May 17, 2020);
Tom Gross, “First female Ethiopian-born and ultra-orthodox Israeli cabinet ministers sworn in, Mideast Dispatch, (May 18, 2020).