Kadima MK Avi Dichter will leave the Knesset and join the cabinet at the request of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
Dichter will replace departing Home Front Defence Minister Matan Vilnai, who will leave next week for Beijing to be Israel’s next ambassador to China. In future elections, Dichter will likely run on the Independence or Likud list.
Dichter’s departure from Kadima does not constitute a formal split. Ahmed Dabbah will now fill his seat in the Knesset.
The Knesset will convene in a special session during its summer recess on Thursday to approve Dichter.
Ministers Dan Meridor, Bennie Begin, Michael Eitan, and Yossi Peled turned down the job, as did former minister Tzachi Hanegbi. A source close to Netanyahu had said late on Sunday that the position would be given to a security authority that was not a current minister. Ditcher previously served as director of the Shin Bet and public security minister.