Netanyahu expected to fire Shas’ Deri at Sunday’s cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set to sack Shas leader Aryeh Deri from his ministerial positions at Sunday’s cabinet meeting, four days after the Supreme Court ruled that Netanyahu’s decision to appoint Deri as interior and health minister was “extremely unreasonable” in light of Deri’s most recent criminal conviction.

Reports Saturday night in Channel 12, Ynet and other outlets said the matter was coordinated between Netanyahu and Deri.

The resignation is expected to take effect Tuesday morning, ending Deri’s tenure after just 26 days in office.

At the same time, the coalition is working intensively to find a solution that would allow Deri to either remain an integral member of the government or return soon.

According to Channel 12, one option being considered is appointing Deri as an “observer” in the cabinet.

The Movement for Quality Government (MQG), one of the organizations that successfully petitioned the Supreme Court against Deri’s nomination, wrote directly to Netanyahu on Thursday, urging that he fire the Shas party leader “immediately” to “immediately” to respect the rule of law and the separation of powers.”

Health and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri outside his home in Jerusalem, January 18, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The organization has asked the attorney general to take all available steps to ensure that Netanyahu removes Deri as soon as possible, and an MQG spokesperson said the group would “insist on this happening” but did not say when further legal action could be taken. be taken.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces his plans to combat the cost of living, at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem, January 11, 2023. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

While the prime minister has a “reasonable amount of time” to implement the court’s order to fire Deri, that period is unlikely to last much longer than two or three days from the date the court made the decision.

Allowing Deri to participate in Sunday morning’s cabinet meeting in his role as interior and health minister would almost certainly be considered contempt of court, legal experts told The Times of Israel, though requesting — and receiving — an actual contempt verdict would also take time.

The court ruling has left Netanyahu with a serious problem as Deri and his Shas party are a crucial part of the coalition, and Deri has insisted that he remain in government in one form or another, which would likely mean that either the court’s ruling be circumvented through legislation or appointed as Deputy Prime Minister, a post which may not be subject to the court’s ruling.

An appointment as deputy prime minister is tricky, as it would likely require the government to dissolve and then reform itself, and require the passage of complex legislation.

Even if that were to happen, the Supreme Court could even nullify that nomination.

On Thursday, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara sent Netanyahu a letter informing him that he should fire Deri from his post, although she did not set a time frame. According to a Channel 13 report, the reason for Netanyahu’s delay on the matter was due to his search for replacements in the Interior Ministry and Health ministries.

Netanyahu will likely assign Deri’s roles to other members of the cabinet for now as he looks for a solution.

Netanyahu has in the past taken on ministerial portfolios in addition to his position as prime minister for various reasons, but is currently unable to do so as he is currently indicted and on trial on corruption charges – preventing him from serving as a minister. although the law does not prevent him from serving as prime minister.

The Supreme Court ruled that Shas leader Deri’s dual appointments as health and interior minister were “extremely unreasonable” in light of his recent and past financial crimes, and that Deri had misled a magistrate’s court into thinking he was withdrawing from the withdraw from political life in order to receive a lenient sentence in a plea bargain and to avoid a finding that his recent tax fraud convictions were “moral disgrace”, a finding that would have automatically banned him from his office.

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