Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed with outgoing Minister of Communications Moshe Kahlon that he will be appointed Israel Lands Administration (ILA) Council chairman. An announcement by the Prime Minister's Office said the aim of the appointment is "to significantly reduce apartment prices for Israelis, with a stress on young couples and discharged soldiers."
The decision is a blow to Shas's Minister of Housing and Construction Ariel Atias. Until now the minister has always served as chairman of the ILA.
The appointment of the Likud's Kahlon, who is not standing for the Knesset, and who has been popular as Minister of Communications, comes as Likud-Beytenu has lost ground in the polls. The hope is that Kahlon, who is perceived as having lowered mobile phone prices with his reforms, can boost the number of Knesset seats.
Netanyahu would prefer to see Kahlon serve as a minister but as the ILA board meets only once a month, the Communications Minister does not need to retract his plans to take time out from public life, and he still wants to study abroad.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 20, 2013
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