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Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said to secure top jobs for brother, son

Shas leader’s child Yaakov given department to head in World Zionist Organization, while brother promoted to co-chair of Jewish National Fund, Channel 12 reports

Interior Ministry Aryeh Deri in an interview with the ultra-Orthodox news site Kikar HaShabbat, broadcast on May 9, 2020. (Screenshot/Kikar HaShabbat)
Interior Ministry Aryeh Deri in an interview with the ultra-Orthodox news site Kikar HaShabbat, broadcast on May 9, 2020. (Screenshot/Kikar HaShabbat)

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, has secured top jobs for his immediate family in the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish National Fund, Channel 12 news reported Wednesday.

Deri’s son Yaakov Deri was appointed Wednesday as head of the WZO’s department for resource raising and heritage, the network said.

Meanwhile, Deri’s brother Shlomo Deri, vice chairman of the Jewish National Fund in recent years, was promoted recently to co-chairman of the organization, the report said.

According to Channel 12 the positioning of Deri’s relatives in top positions has led to grumbling within Shas’s ranks, with some questioning why the party leader’s family are being awarded such lucrative posts.

Deri himself is suspected of corruption in an ongoing case currently being reviewed by the state prosecution ahead of a decision on whether to put him on trial.

In November 2018, police recommended filing charges against Deri on suspicion of committing fraud, breach of trust, obstructing court proceedings, money laundering and tax offenses involving millions of shekels. Some of the incidents allegedly occurred while Deri was a cabinet minister.

Last year then-state attorney Shai Nitzan similarly recommended charging Deri.

Deri is suspected of diverting hundreds of thousands of shekels in state funds to organizations run by members of his immediate family, as well as suspected tax fraud linked to the sale of apartments to his brother.

A Channel 13 report in January said Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit was considering closing the corruption case, citing flaws in the evidence. There has been no official news on the matter since.

Deri served 22 months in prison from 2000 to 2002, after he was convicted of taking bribes as interior minister in the 1990s.

He reclaimed the leadership of his Shas party shortly before the 2015 Knesset elections, replacing Eli Yishai. He returned to his Interior Ministry post in 2016, after a court ruled his prior conviction did not disqualify him from the position.

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