Aryeh Deri
Aryeh DeriOlivier Fitoussi/FLASH90

Shas chief Aryeh Deri believes that Israel is "closer than ever" to achieving broad consensus on the judicial reforms.

"I, on this matter, can quote Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, including what he said in recent days, that we want and are working towards agreements which are as broad as possible - that is our goal," Deri said, adding, "I can tell you that we are closer than ever."

"There are not yet agreements, and there are a lot of obstacles and the path is long, but at this point we are closer than we ever were since the issue of the reform began, and I hope, and call on everyone, to sit down and reach agreements and not to continue with the division and rifts which are so dangerous.

"If we do not reach agreements, we will present a new draft, based on the talks that were held, and we will move forward unilaterally and independently, with certain amendments to the Judicial Selection Committee and so on. Everything is better when done by agreement, but we cannot leave the situation as it is, without any correction."

Deri continued, "Justice Minister [Yariv] Levin (Likud) said, rightly, that in the current situation, the composition of the committee gives them an automatic majority for any decision. This is a situation which is unthinkable - that they can pass any decision and any appointment, in complete opposition to the position of the elected government. And therefore we will act to correct this. We will not get into the wording right now, there are a few options, but at least we need to reach a situation of balance, which will require the agreement of everyone for any decision by the committee."