The wife of Shas chief Aryeh Deri says he won’t helm the Defense Ministry, after reports he was offered the post by Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, who wants to avoid giving far-right Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich control of the army.
“Aryeh won’t take the defense [ministry]. He is definitely suitable. He won’t take it because it’s not his place,” Yaffa Deri tells Kan public radio.
Smotrich has reportedly demanded he receive either the defense or finance minister positions, though Deri has claimed the Treasury role for himself.
“He wants to help weaker populations. In our opinion, he is going to the Treasury,” Yaffa Deri adds.