Conservative MP Andrew Murrison has been appointed minister of state for the Middle East at the foreign office.
The South West Wiltshire MP, who served in junior ministerial roles under David Cameron, takes up the role vacated by Alistair Burt who resigned in March.
Murrison, who was previously the chair of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, has served for 18 years as a medical officer in the Royal Navy.
He tweeted on Thursday: “Delighted to have been made Minister of State at Foreign Office and DFID. Big shoes to fill.
“Really sad to stand down as Chair of @CommonsNIAC.”
Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, congratulated the MP on his appointment.
“We have congratulated Dr Murrison on his appointment as the Middle East Minister. This is a very significant government role as far as the Jewish community is concerned,” he said.
“We have traditionally enjoyed very constructive engagements with the Middle East minister.
“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and to engaging with the minister and his officials where we can be of assistance.”
Murrison told the non-profit Caabu ahead of the 2015 general election that he backed a two-state solution based on 1967 borders.
“I back a two state solution on ’67 borders and hope that this will be achieved soon so that the international commmunity can recognise Palestine and Israel,” he said.
“I deplore Israel’s action and have said so in the House if you want to look it up but it must be able to defend its civilians against Hamas inspired terrorism. ”
A spokesperson for Yachad said: “We warmly congratulate Dr Andrew Murrison MP on his appointment as Middle East Minister.
“We wish him best of luck in his vital work in the region including supporting an Israeli-Palestinian peace process and a two-state solution.”