Major reshuffling predicted in Israeli diplomatic corps

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JERUSALEM — Some members of Israel's diplomatic corps, including Israel's ambassador to the United States, have announced their intention to step down when the new Likud government comes to power.

Ambassador to the United States Itamar Rabinovich was among those who said he would end his tenure as a result of Benjamin Netanyahu's victory.

Among the potential candidates for his post are Zalman Shoval and Moshe Arens.

Foreign Ministry sources said they expected Israel's consul general in New York, Colette Avital, to leave.

Israel's ambassador to Jordan, Shimon Shamir, denied that he planned to leave his post.

Ora Namir, who resigned from the Knesset to be appointed ambassador to Beijing, said she had considered a scenario of serving under a Likud-led government before accepting the position.

Elazar Granot, a Meretz appointment to the top diplomatic post in South Africa, said he expected to leave.

Uri Savir, the director general of the Foreign Ministry and coordinator of peace negotiations, is also expected to step down, the Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported. Among those mentioned as a successor is Eitan Ben-Tsur, the ministry's deputy director general.

Israel's S.F.-based Consul General for the Pacific Northwest, Nimrod Barkan, will complete the second year of a two-year posting in the Bay Area.