Shas chief Deri predicts Knesset won’t dissolve this week

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri predicts early elections will not be immediately called, as the coalition’s Likud and Blue and White parties continued talks ahead of the upcoming deadline to pass a budget.

“I have a reasonable basis to assume the Knesset won’t dissolve this week,” Deri tells reporters after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine in Jerusalem, without further elaborating.

He says he hoped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz will reach an agreement before Tuesday night, when the Knesset will dissolve if no state budget — or an agreement to delay its passage — is approved by then.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri speaks to reporters after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, in Jerusalem on December 20, 2020. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“Elections can’t be held, this is unnecessary, the people don’t want this,” he says.

In separate remarks to Kan public broadcaster, Deri clarifies that he does not believe the Knesset would dissolve this week, “but this doesn’t mean it won’t dissolve next week.”

Deri heads the ultra-Orthodox Shas party, which is part of Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc.