Israeli parliament approves appointments of new ministers (3)

13:21, January 20, 2011      

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In the wake of Monday's drama, Netanyahu announced that he would temporarily take over control of the ministry, but quickly disbanded the idea following criticism that he would not be able to devote much time to a ministry that requires a full-time head.

Meanwhile, the Labor Party, now officially in the opposition, on Wednesday voted unanimously to elect lawmaker Eitan Cabel as chairman of the faction. Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, one of the party's most influential members, declared in a press conference on Monday that he has no intention of presenting his candidacy for the job, and instead would devote his time to the rehabilitation of Labor and restoring it to its "days of glory" in the political arena.

The reshuffling of the cards in Israeli politics, initiated by Barak and Netanyahu continues to meet harsh criticism in the political and media circles.

"What happened was highway robbery in broad daylight. They ( Barak and the new faction's members) went behind our backs and left us in a criminal fashion," outgoing Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.

Kadima Party head and opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Tuesday described Barak's move as "the dirtiest act in history" in an interview with Army Radio.

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