Israel to Have First-Ever Arab Government Minister
Israel's new government will include the country's first-ever Arab minister, a Druze, after a vote by the Labor party Friday, said reports.
Labor Knesset member Saleh Tarif will become a minister without portfolio in a national unity government led by right-wing Prime Minister-elect Ariel Sharon, reported Haaretz newspaper in its internet edition.
Tarif, who is a member of One Israel parliament block, was born in 1954 in Julis. He is married with four children.
The MK has served in Israeli army’s parachutes and tank unit. He has been a Knesset member since 1992.
The Druze are more integrated into Israeli society than Palestinian citizens of Israel and are the only Arab community in the Jewish state required to serve in the army.
Along with Tarif, Labor’s secretary-general Ra’anan Cohen was also chosen to fill one of the two minister-without-portfolio slots, said Haaretz.
The 1,650 members of the central committee also chose two deputy ministers – MK’s Avi Yehezkel and Eli Ben-Menachem, added the paper.
A third deputy ministerial position was set aside for Michael Melchior of the moderate Orthodox Meimad movement which is part of the One Israel alliance, it added -- Albawaba.com
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