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Shas Party appoints Deri replacement MK Moshe Arbel to ministerial posts

Arbel had filled the positions temporarily, but as there is a three-month time limit on temporary assignments, the government made his appointment permanent.

Shas MK Moshe Arbel attends an emergency conference at the Knesset on disasters at construction sites in Israel, May 27, 2019. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.
Shas MK Moshe Arbel attends an emergency conference at the Knesset on disasters at construction sites in Israel, May 27, 2019. Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90.

Shas Knesset member Moshe Arbel will replace party leader Aryeh Deri as health and interior minister.

The move comes after Deri was removed from the posts in January by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Arbel had filled the positions temporarily, but as there is a three-month time limit on temporary assignments, the government was compelled to make Arbel’s appointments permanent, according to Kan News.

However, the Shas Party said Monday that it would “act as soon as possible to pass the law required to correct the injustice, and to appoint Rabbi Aryeh Deri as minister,” referring to a bill that passed its first reading in the Knesset plenum on March 20.

Amendment 16 to Basic Law: The Government prohibits all courts, including the Supreme Court, from ruling on the legality of government ministerial appointments. It was passed by a vote of 63 to 55.

The proposed legislation would allow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to restore Deri to his previous roles, after having been forced to fire him on Jan. 22 after the court ruled that Deri’s appointment was “unreasonable in the extreme” due to a prior tax fraud conviction.

The Supreme Court ruling came despite a Knesset amendment passed in December specifying that a ban on persons serving as ministers for seven years if convicted of a criminal offense applies only to those serving active jail sentences. Deri was handed a suspended jail sentence as part of a plea bargain last February.

Deri was also dismissed from his role as vice prime minister following the ruling.

“The Supreme Court threw into the trash the votes of 400,000 voters,” the Shas Party said in a statement at the time of the court’s decision.

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