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Benjamin Netanyahu becomes welfare minister, his 4th portfolio in addition to prime minister

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will serve as welfare minister in the wake of the resignation of Haim Katz over charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Netanyahu adds the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, generally known as welfare, to three other ministries he now leads: defense, health and Diaspora affairs.

Katz stepped down last month following the announcement by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit of the indictment. The resignation went into effect on Wednesday. Katz remains a lawmaker for Netanyahu’s Likud party, however.

Netanyahu became the defense minister following the November resignation of Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party. Netanyahu  dismissed Naftali Bennett, now of the United Right party, from the government in June and took on his Diaspora affairs portfolio. Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism Party resigned as health minister in 2017 but remains deputy health minister.