Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly appointed new Interior Minister Silvan Shalom to head peace efforts with the Palestinians, and to oversee strategic dialogue with the United States on Monday.
The move signals an intention towards renewing peace talks by Netanyahu’s new government, and follows the coalition’s pledge last week to “advance the diplomatic process and strive to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians and all our neighbours”.
An anonymous Israeli official has been quoted by AFP as saying, “The prime minister has charged Silvan Shalom with conducting in his name the negotiations with the Palestinians”.
The role was previously served by former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni during the last round of US-led peace talks which took place from 2013-14. The talks ended after the Palestinian Authority agreed to from a unity government with Hamas.
Shalom is a former Foreign Minister and currently serves as a senior Knesset Member for Netanyahu’s Likud party.