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6 Jun, 2019 04:25

Netanyahu hands justice minister mandate down to a supportive MP

Netanyahu hands justice minister mandate down to a supportive MP

After briefly awarding the job to himself, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed a new justice minister from his own Likud Party. The appointee is a strong supporter of the long-time PM.

Netanyahu’s office announced on Wednesday that it would hand the justice portfolio, which Netanyahu had been holding along with those of defense, health, education, and prime minister, to Amir Ohana, who has served as a member of the Knesset since 2015.

MK Amir Ohana is a jurist who knows the legal system well,” the office said in a statement, noting his Bachelor's qualification in law and his decade of experience in the legal profession.

Some Israeli commentators have suggested the choice had little to do with Ohana’s legal expertise, but instead his effort to introduce legislation that would immunize officials, including prime ministers, from indictment. Such a law would come in handy for Netanyahu, who is currently embroiled in no less than three corruption cases.

Ohana also headed up the committee that drafted the much-decried ‘nation-state law’, and was one of the bill’s prime architects. While critics said the bill discriminates against non-Jewish citizens of Israel, Ohana called it “the most important law” in the country’s history.

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Netanyahu and his party came out on top of April’s legislative election, but, failing to assemble a ruling coalition within the six-week time limit allotted, the victors were forced to dissolve the parliament and reconvene elections for September. After the new race, the justice portfolio could again change hands.

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