Ministers Approve Motion to Expand Government

The Prime Minister's Cabinet unanimously approved on Sunday morning Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's proposal to extend the size of the 20th Knesset's ministerial cabinet. 

If passed, the proposal would allow Netanyahu to increase the number of ministers in his fourth government from 18 to 20 as well as to appoint a number of ministers without portfolio. 

The Prime Minister's proposal will be brought to the Knesset for approval on Monday and is expected to encounter fierce backlash from the Opposition. 

Earlier on Sunday MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) issued a sharp rebuke of Netanyahu, joining a loud chorus of criticism against the Prime Minister's rush to expand the government. 

"Netanyahu conducted the negotiations with talent and now he is violating the law the government passed only a year ago. This is a trampling of the Knesset and the law," Shelah argued. 

"Law-abiding people know that changing the Basic Law within 24 hours is to spit in the face of the Israeli public."

On Saturday night, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid also slammed Netanyahu, calling the decision to expand the number of ministers in the government "political corruption." 

"They tell us that this does not affect the budget, which is a blatant lie. I was finance minister and you can’t sell me such nonsense,” he said, arguing that the move will "cost hundreds of millions of shekels."

In a statement on Friday, Lapid threatened to appeal to the Supreme Court against Monday's scheduled vote and his party sent warning letters on the issue to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195232

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