Several days prior to the Knesset elections last January, Netanyahu convened a dramatic press conference in which he announced the appointment as a measure aimed at lowering housing rates.
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After holding a meeting with Kahlon on Tuesday, Netanyahu said, "The outcomes of the elections do not allow us to realize all the plans we had. I still believe that only under the Prime Minister's Office's authority could the Land Administration under Moshe Kahlon's leadership have significantly lowered apartment rates for the benefit of all Israelis."
Kahlon is now considering running for head of the Likud Central Committee in elections set to take place later this month.
Netanyahu, Kahlon (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
According to the coalition agreement signed between the Likud-Beiteinu and the Habayit Hayehudi party, the Israel Land Administration remains under the Housing Ministry's jurisdiction. Habayit Hayehudi Naftali Bennett is insisting that the agreement be honored, which prevents Kahlon's appointment from being realized.
Less than 36 hours before polls opened in last January's Knesset elections, Netanyahu dropped a bomb announcing the appointment of outgoing Minister Kahlon as the chairman of the Israel Land Administration.
The announcement wasn't released by a government authority but rather by the Likud campaign.
According to the statement, the move was meant to ensure a significant reduction in the prices of housing in Israel, with an emphasis on young couples and recently-discharged soldiers. Kahlon, who announced he was taking a break from politics in October, was to assume the position within a few months of the announcement.
The measure required new legislation seeing as under the current law, the Israel Land Administration should be by the housing minister. The new legislation would have placef the agency under the authority of the Prime Minister's Office.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
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