High Court orders Deri appointment delayed over flawed Basic Law amendment
In a temporary injunction, the High Court has ordered the government to explain the rushed Basic Law amendment on Tuesday that was tailored to allow Shas leader Aryeh Deri to take up ministerial appointments despite his criminal conviction this year for tax offenses. An extended High Court bench of 11 judges will next week judge petitions against the appointment filed by pro-democracy lobby groups on the grounds of his criminal record and flawed legislative procedure. The government has until Friday to answer the High Court. However, on Thursday, Binyamin Netanyahu will present the new government to the Knesset for swearing in. It is expected to include Deri as minister of interior and health, taking over finance at a later stage.
The same Basic Law amendment created a new ministerial post for the incoming finance minister, the far-right Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich, at the Defense Ministry, endowing him with authority in Judea and Samaria. The latter appointment is hotly challenged by top military and security officials as usurping their longstanding jurisdiction.