Ehud Olmert presents 25-member government to the Knesset Thursday, announces will continue effort to expand coalition

In his opening remarks, the incoming PM said Israel’s borders will be different from the current lines after some Jewish locations on the West Bank are evacuated and relocated in main blocs.
Tzipi Livni keeps foreign ministry and is acting prime minister. Elder statesman Shimon Peres is minister for Negev and Galilee development and regional economic ties. Avraham Hirschson is finance minister, and former Shin Beit director Avi Dichter, internal security minister. After Defense passed to Labor, Shaul Mofaz becomes transport minister and Dep. PM, and takes charge of “strategic dialogue with foreign governments”.
Meir Sheetreet – building and housing plus the Israel Lands Authority; Haim Ramon – Justice; Ronnie Bar-On – Interior: Zeev Boim – Immigration and Absorption; Gideon Ezra – Environment, and Yaakov Edry – liaison between government and Knesset.
Olmert has also put Dalia Itzik’s name forward for Knesset Speaker.
Ultra-religious Shas is absolved from support government policy on the removal of Jewish locations on the West Bank under its accord with Kadima.
Under the Labor-Kadima accord, Amir Peretz takes defense, Yuli Tamir – education, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer – national infrastructure, Shalom Simchon – agriculture, Ophir Pines – Culture, Sports and Jerusalem Affairs, Yitzhak Herzog – tourism and Eitan Cabel – minister without portfolio in charge of the Broadcasting Authority.
Shas winds up with four portfolios: party leader Eli Yishai – industry, trade and labor, communications and two ministers without portfolio, Ariel Atias Meshulam Hanahri, one of whom will take office in the prime minister’s office as director of religious services.
The Pensioners list have health and senior citizens affairs.
The four parties of the Olmert coalition command a total of 67 seats in the 120-member Knesset. Negotiations continue with the second ultra-religious party, Torah Judaism, and left-wing Meretz.

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