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Shas chief Deri, convicted for tax offenses, may be ‘rewarded’ for loyalty with Finance Ministry – report

Shas party head Aryeh Deri celebrates with supporters as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem. November 1, 2022 (Yossi Zamir/Flash90 )
Shas party head Aryeh Deri celebrates with supporters as the results of the Israeli elections are announced, in Jerusalem. November 1, 2022 (Yossi Zamir/Flash90 )

Shas leader Aryeh Deri, whose party is a key member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc, may be “rewarded” for his loyalty with the position of finance minister if he requests it, the Ynet news site reports.

Shas has made the cost of living crisis a key part of its platform.

The report says the coalition negotiations, headed by Likud MK Yariv Levin, will aim to provide the government with stability by keeping Netanyahu’s political partners happy.

While the Religious Zionism party is expected to receive the third largest number of seats in the election, the union between MK Bezalel Smotrich and MK Itamar Ben GVir was a technical one, meaning that while the two far-right lawmakers are expected to coordinate their positions, their talks with Likud will be held separately.

Therefore Deri will be negotiating as the head of the second-largest party in the bloc.

Deri admitted to tax offenses earlier this year — his second criminal conviction — and resigned from the Knesset as part of a plea deal. However, he is set to return to the Israeli parliament with his party expected to hold 11 seats, according to the latest tally.

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