Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed a senior minister from office, complying with a Supreme Court ruling amid a deepening rift over the power of the courts.
Netanyahu announced he was firing Aryeh Deri, who served as interior and health minister, at a meeting of the Cabinet of Israel on Sunday.
Israel’s Supreme Court decided last week that Deri could not serve as a Cabinet minister because of a conviction last year over tax offences.
“It is with a heavy heart, with great sorrow and with an extremely difficult feeling that I am forced to transfer you from your position as a minister in the government,” Netanyahu told Deri during the Cabinet meeting, according to a statement from the PM’s office.
Deri, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish party Shas, was appointed to Netanyahu’s Cabinet last month after Israel’s November elections.
The Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the prime minister “must remove Deri from his position”, citing his 2022 plea-bargain conviction for tax fraud.
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