The Israeli Knesset approved by a 40-17 margin Monday the appointment of Tzachi Hanegbi to the position of cabinet minister without portfolio.

Hanegbi resigned his position as the public security minister following opening a criminal investigation against him.

The cabinet approved Sunday the appointment of Gideon Ezra (Likud) as acting public security minister on a three-month basis.

Serving as the minister of environment, Hanegbi is suspected of politically based appointments of Likud activists and their family members.

Opposition MKs criticized the Knesset decision as paving the way for Hanegbi’s eventual return to his cabinet post, saying that over fears of him coming back to be their boss, police will be unable to conduct an impartial investigation against him.

MK Yossi Sarid said that legislators might appeal the appointment of Hanegbi to the High Court of Justice.

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