High court freezes Akunis’ appointment as Justice Minister

The High Court froze on Tuesday the government’s approval of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu\s proposal to vote for Ofir Akunis (Likud) to fill the vacant post of Justice Minister. The appointment was thereupon slammed as illegal and invalid by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. The court promises a final ruling Wednesday after hearing the prime minister’s arguments. The session will be broadcast live. Akunis was approved after the prime minister ruled out defense minister Benny Gantz’s claim to the job which he had filled temporarily after a fellow Kachol Lavan member Nissenkorn had quit to join another party. Mandelblit supported Gantz’s claim that the post rightly belonged to his party under its coalition agreement with Likud. Netanyahu argued that that agreement was nullified by the March general election for a new Knesset and the government’s new caretaker status.

The issue came before the cabinet after the High Court gave the ministers 48 hours to appoint a justice minister.

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