Netanyahu expected to fire Deri de Shas during Sunday’s cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was expected to remove Shas leader Aryeh Deri from his ministerial duties during a cabinet meeting on Sunday, four days after the High Court of Justice. ruled that Netanyahu’s decision to appoint Deri as Minister of the Interior and Health was “grossly unreasonable” in light of Deri’s most recent criminal conviction.

Reports on Saturday night on Channel 12, Ynet and other outlets said the matter had been coordinated between Netanyahu and Deri.

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

At the same time, the coalition is engaged in an intense effort to find a solution that allows Deri to remain a full member of the government or to return soon.

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

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

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

The organization has asked the attorney general to take all available steps to ensure Netanyahu removes Deri as quickly as possible, and an MQG spokesperson said the group would “insist on making this happen” but gave no indication of when further action might be taken. legal. to be taken.

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

Although the prime minister has what is defined as a “reasonable amount of time” to comply with the court’s order to sack Deri, that period is unlikely to extend much beyond two or three days after the date on that the court rendered the decision.

Allowing Deri to participate in Sunday morning’s cabinet meeting in his roles as home and health minister would almost certainly be considered contempt of court, legal experts saying The Times of Israel, although filing for and receiving an actual contempt judgment would also take time.

The court ruling has created a serious problem for Netanyahu, as Deri and his Shas party are a key part of the coalition, and Deri has insisted that he remain in government in some capacity, which would likely mean circumventing Netanyahu’s decision. the court through legislation or be appointed as deputy prime minister, a position that may not be subject to the court’s decision.

An appointment as deputy prime minister is tricky, as it would likely require the government to be dissolved and then reformed, and requires complex legislation to be passed.

Even if that were done, the High Court could even invalidate that appointment as well.

On Thursday, Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara sent Netanyahu a letter informing her that he was obligated to remove Deri from her posts, although she did not stipulate a time frame. According to a Channel 13 report, the reason for Netanyahu’s delay on the issue was due to his search for replacements in the interior and health ministries.

Netanyahu is likely to give Deri’s roles to other cabinet members for now while he searches for a solution.

In the past, Netanyahu has held ministerial portfolios in addition to his post as prime minister for various reasons, but he is unable to do so at this time because he is currently indicted and on trial on corruption charges, which prevents him from serving as a minister. although the law does not prevent him from serving as prime minister.

The High Court ruled that Shas leader Deri’s dual appointments as Health and Home Minister were “extremely unreasonable” in light of his recent and past financial misdeeds, and that Deri had misled a magistrates’ court into thinking that he would withdraw from political life in order to receive a more lenient sentence in a plea deal and to avoid a determination that his recent tax fraud convictions involved “moral turpitude,” a finding that would have automatically barred him from office for seven years.

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