Yair Lapid Takes Over as Israel’s 14th Prime Minister
Between Thursday and Friday, just as the clock struck midnight, Yair Lapid became the new Prime Minister of Israel. He is the 14th one to hold the office in the nation’s history.
A caretaker government
The former Foreign Minister’s term is not going to be a long one because he is coming in as caretaker prime minister until the elections are held on November 1st. Nevertheless, the new premier seemed unfazed by the possibility of a brief tenure and was ready to make the most of his opportunity.
On Thursday afternoon, Lapid spoke at the handover ceremony and said that they would do everything necessary for the good of the Jewish state to keep it thriving. The first item on his agenda on his first day as prime minister is to meet with the head of the Shin Bet security service, Ronen Bar. The meeting will take place in Tel Aviv at the Kirya military headquarters.
The new premier will then hold a meeting for discussing the remains of soldiers in the IDF and two men who are currently being held in the Gaza strip by Hamas. This sensitive issue was making headlines once more after a video was showed by Hamas.
Activities in the first few days
During the first couple of days in office, the new prime minister is expected to receive phone calls for congratulating him from different world leaders. Joe Biden, the US President has already made the call. He is also expected to visit Israel in two weeks.
Lapid will also make a short trip to Paris on July 5th where he will have a meeting with Emmanuel Macron, the French President. On Sunday, he will conduct the first cabinet meeting under his leadership. As for Naftali Bennett, the outgoing prime minister, he has already announced that he will not participate in the next elections.
However, he will stay on for now as the alternate prime minister and would also be responsible for the Iran policy of Israel.
The new premier also announced his staff on Thursday, as he does not intend to slow things down. For the first time in the history of the nation, a woman will head up the prime ministerial office. After Lapid officially takes over, the Prime Minister’s Office will be taken over by Naama Schultz, as she will take over the position of director-general.
She has served as an aide for a long time and was the head of the office of the Yesh Atid leader when he had been the alternate prime minister. She had also been his adviser when he served as the finance minister.
A number of other loyalists will also come in with Lapid, including Dani Vesely who is one of the longest associates he has had. He will take the position of chief of staff, while Yair Zivan, who has been his adviser will now become his diplomatic adviser. But, Lapid is also keeping on some of Bennett’s staff, including national security adviser Eyal Hulata, military secretary Avi Gil, cabinet secretary Shalom Shlomo and international spokesperson Keren Haijoff.