After feverish searches by the prime minister’s office for some former senior IDF official to be appointed as Minister for the Defense of the Home Front, late Monday on night, following all-night meetings with the prime minister and the minister of defense, the appointment of MK Avi Dichter was finalized.
It appears that Dicter accepted the offer, and tomorrow will offer his resignation to Knesset Chair Reuven Rivlin. In agreeing to accept the position of government minister, Dichter de facto resigns from his Kadima party which is currently back in the opposition. He is now expected to join the Likud, and compete for a slot on the party’s list for the coming elections.
On Wednesday, the government convenes to authorize his appointment for office, and on Thursday the appointment will become official.
Dichter, formerly head of the General Security Service, better known by the acronym Shabak, and a senior member of Kadima, led the effort to depose Tzipi Livni in the last primary elections in Kadima. He supported Mofaz, but after the latter had been elected, their relationship deteriorated. Dichter opposaed Kadima’s pulling out of Netanyahu’s government, arguing that it must remain inside the coalition.
Dichter joined Zachi Negbi and Haim Ramon, who, over the last two months, have resigned from Kadima. Sources inside the party on onday night expressed their fury, and said that “Dichter is AWOL.”
The Prime Minister’s office just happened to be feverishly searching for a replacement for Matan Villny, the departing home front minister, who will assume his new post as Israel’s Ambassador to China next week. Candidates mentioned to replace Villny were former head of the northern command General Yossi Peled, and former vice chief of staff, Uzi Dayan, who today serves as head of the national lottery.
Dictor will be working alongside Defense Minister Ehud Barak, because logistically the Home Front office is part of the Ministry of Defense, and good relations between the Ministries is vital.
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