AP NEWS

Israel PM appoints interim foreign minister

February 17, 2019
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FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, listens to then Transportation and Intelligence Minister Israel Katz during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem. Netanyahu announced Sunday, Feb 17, 2019 that he has appointed Katz an interim foreign minister after holding the post himself for the last four years. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister has appointed an interim foreign minister after holding the post himself for the last four years.

Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that Transportation Minister Israel Katz would serve as foreign minister until the formation of a new government after April elections.

A good governance group petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court against Netanyahu’s multitude of roles after he took over the defense minister’s portfolio following his resignation late last year. Netanyahu also serves as Israel’s health minister.

Katz recently finished first among serving ministers in the ruling Likud party primaries, and the upgrade solidifies his position as Netanyahu’s top deputy and potential successor. Katz says he’ll run for party chairman and prime minister after Netanyahu retires.