Ariel Atias
Ariel Atias Israel news photo: Flash 90

Shas MK Ariel Atias announced Thursday that he was taking a break from his Knesset duties. Atias informed the Council of Torah Sages, the supreme decision-making body in Shas, of his intention to step down.

In a statement, Atias, a former Housing Minister and Communications Minister, said that he decided a “recess” from public service was in order.

“After many years of intensive efforts, working day and night for the public good, I decided that in the wake of the passing of Rabbi Ovadia Yosefz”tl it would be appropriate to take a break from my Knesset duties."

“I was privileged to service the public at the request of Rabbi Yosef and the Council of Torah Sages,” Atias said. “I tried throughout my term to serve the public faithfully and professionally and to properly fulfill the mission given to me.”

Atias' resignation means that a new spot has opened up in Shas' Knesset delegation, and the Council deliberated to name a replacement.

In the past, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef z”tl was the sole authority in these matters. Later Thursday, the Council appoint Yoav Ben-Tzur as Atias' replacement.