Barlev New Commerce Minister

Lt. Gen. Haim Barlev, former Chief of Staff of Israel’s armed forces, was sworn in today as Minister of Commerce and Industry. He will assume his Cabinet post tomorrow. Barlev, who retired from the Army last Jan., took the ministerial oath of allegiance before the Knesset after that body approved his nomination to the Cabinet by a vote of 57-2 with 31 abstentions.

Barlev is the 19th minister to Join the present Cabinet and is regarded as a protege of Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir who held the Commerce and Industry portfolio until now. Sapir told a Labor Party meeting in Tel Aviv last night that he was not a candidate for the Premiership to succeed Premier Golda Meir and that he would not seek another term in the Cabinet after the next general elections 18 months from now.

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