Shas minister: Israel doesn't need new elections

Interior Minister Deri tours Mevo Modi'im, visiting burned homes, promises special staff will work to aid residents.

Hezki Baruch ,

Aryeh Deri in Mevo Modi'im
Aryeh Deri in Mevo Modi'im
Aryeh Deri's spokesperson

Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, who currently serves as Interior Minister, on Monday visited the burned town of Mevo Modi'im, meeting with its residents and council heads.

"We need to thank G-d that no one was killed," Deri began. "We need to thank the fire and rescue services for the important work they did here. Our hearts are hurting from the loss of many people's homes and the undoing of their lives, but the Nation of Israel is used to it."

"I have come to an agreement with the Finance Minister that we will immediately create a special staff with the Finance and Interior Ministries, as well as the Prime Minister's Office, to ensure residents have a place to live, in a temporary setup, and we are waiting for the end of the investigations to know how much funding we'll have. I support the local residents and want to tell them - we're with you. We're not going to abandon you and we'll try to help as much as possible."

Deri also mentioned the issues preventing the formation of a government.

"Today, in a meeting of party heads, we decided, unfortunately, to propose dissolving the Knesset," he said. "I say unfortunately because we did not hold elections only in order to hold elections again, and the voters have made their decision known. Sixty-five Knesset seats chose [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu for Prime Minister, and that is the true will of most of the nation. The date preferred by most parties in the coalition is as soon as possible, in 90 days from now, on August 27."

"I turn to [Yisrael Beytenu Chairman Avigdor] Liberman one final time: The people of Israel do not need new elections today. Firstly, it's a huge expense which could solve a lot of problems, and also, for a long time we've been in a government which cannot make decisions, and we're facing a lot of security challenges. In the north and south, they're challenging us every day and every hour. There's a lot of tension in the Persian Gulf.

"In the coming elections as well, I expect Netanyahu will be re-elected and the right-wing bloc will win and even grow, so I don't see the benefit in elections. The argument is minor. The haredi parties have taken huge steps towards Liberman, a lot more than the five Knesset seats he has. He needs to show responsibility, to be flexible and create a government seconds before it dissolves."