Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has named National Security Adviser Meir Ben Shabbat as his special diplomatic envoy, the prime minister's bureau said on Friday. Ben-Shabbat will replace Issac Molho who resigned from the position in October.
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Molho's resignation is due to take effect as of January 1, 2018, but he will continue to work with Ben Shabbat over the period of transition.
Molho was detained for questioning a week after his resignation in connection with alleged corruption in a submarine deal between Israel and Germany – also known as “Case 3000” and the “submarine affair.” David Shimron, his law partner, is also under investigation in the case.
Molho held the role of special envoy from 1996 to 1999 and again since 2009, when Netanyahu returned to the prime minister’s office. Molho, an attorney whose firm has represented Netanyahu for decades, is considered to be one of his closest and most trusted advisers.
As Netanyahu's envoy, Molho led contacts with the Palestinian Authority, was involved in negotiating ceasefires with Hamas and played a key role in the relations between Jerusalem and Cairo.
The Prime Minister's Office said that Molho “carried out his duties with a rare combination of skill, experience and deep and encompassing knowledge of the matters before him.” Netanyahu said that “when the full accomplishments of Isaac Molho become known, Israelis will greatly appreciate [his work].”