01/23/2023, 11.32
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Netanyahu removes Minister Deri. Thousands protest justice reform

Shas's leader leaves the Interior and Healthcare Ministries, but the party remains in the government structure, and the prime minister ensures a forthcoming "public" post for the ultra-Orthodox leader. He will still be able to participate in executive meetings and retains the (honorary) title of deputy minister. Tens of thousands of people demonstrate in Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has removed Aryeh Deri, from office. The leader of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party was a top executive minister for a few weeks and is a key ally of the government coalition.

The decision that follows the sentence issued in recent days by the Supreme Court, which declared the Radical exponent unsuitable for the role due to a double conviction - the second one arrived last year - for fraud and corruption.

However, in communicating the decision, which will come into effect tomorrow, Netanyahu himself assured that he wanted to find "every legal means" to keep him in the government structure. The goal is to ensure him high profile "public office" in the near future.

Deri accepted the resignation, but then added that he does not intend to retire from public life and will keep the leadership of the party in Parliament. Furthermore, he will still be able to benefit from the title of "deputy minister" (moreover only honorary and without effective roles) and will participate as an "observer" in executive meetings.

After all, the votes of his party are essential to guarantee a margin of safety in the Knesset and carry out a series of reforms, first of all the controversial one on justice, a source of institutional tensions and street protests that were repeated last weekend as well .

In a note released on the sidelines of the executive meeting held yesterday, Netanyahu would have defined the sentence concerning the now former Minister of Health and Interior as "deplorable", because he was "indifferent" to the will "of the electorate".

A close collaborator of Deri, Barak Seri, told Israeli army radio that the ministerial portfolio will remain the prerogative of the Shas party, which will indicate a name in the coming days. In the aftermath of the verdict, the leaders of Shas had threatened to withdraw from the majority in the event of their leader being ousted, while today they seem to withdraw by accepting the proposal to choose a replacement.

Meanwhile, a poll published by the Hayom newspaper shows that 35% of voters support Netanyahu in the decision to change the appointment of judges - one of the most controversial points of the reform - with a substantial 45% saying they are against.

At the same time, only 26% are in favor of guaranteeing Parliament, with a majority vote, to overturn the sentences of the Supreme Court.

Over the weekend, tens of thousands of people returned to the streets in Tel Aviv to demonstrate against the justice reform plan proposed by the government and by Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption.

At least 40,000 people gathered in the Kaplan Street area, one of the main arteries of the country's economic and commercial capital. Another 10,000 gathered in Piazza Habima, all with a single goal: to oppose a reform project that would end up limiting the autonomy of the judiciary, starting with the Supreme Court, binding the judges - and their appointment - to the dictates of the executive .

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