Aryeh Deri
Aryeh DeriYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Sniping over portfolios threatened to erupt into all-out war between potential coalition partners Jewish Home and Shas, with the latter party demanding the Religious Affairs Ministry along with the Interior Ministry as its price for entering the government Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was officially appointed to form on Wednesday evening.

In a meeting earlier with Netanyahu, Shas head Aryeh Deri was told that he would be made Interior Minister, Shas sources said. Deri also discussed the Religious Affairs Ministry, but was led to understand that Shas was less likely to get it.

In internal meetings earlier this week, Jewish Home declared a desire to continue its administration of the ministry via MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan, Deputy Religious Affairs Minister who is effectively in charge of the office.

Shas sources said that the time had come to put an end to the “imprisonment” of the Ministry at the hands of Jewish Home, which it said had cooperated with “two generations of Lapid" – the father Yosef (Tommy) Lapid and son Yair Lapid, both of whom were “rabidly” anti-religious.

Sources in Jewish Home said that besides the Religious Affairs Ministry, the party would seek the Education, Culture and Sport portfolio.