JERUSALEM (Aug. 30)
The stability of Israel’s coalition government was further threatened Monday when Israel’s High Court of Justice sharply condemned the conduct of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri while hearing petitions calling for his ouster.
The five-judge bench did not rule on the petitions Monday, but the court was expected to issue its decision within a week.
Deri, who heads the fervently Orthodox Shas party, a partner in the Labor-led coalition, faces charges of bribery and misappropriation in connection with his personal financial affairs.
In light of those charges, Attorney General Yosef Harish has recommended that the interior minister be removed from his post immediately.
But Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin opposes Deri’s ouster at this time, fearing it would lead Shas to pull out of his government.