Aryeh Deri
Aryeh DeriMiriam Alster/Flash 90

Following the resignation of Interior Minister Silvan Shalom from politics over sexual harassment allegations, officials estimated on Sunday evening that Minister Aryeh Deri, head of the Shas party, will be appointed Interior Minister instead of Shalom.

Deri already serves as Minister for the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, and would continue to hold that portfolio.

Prior to the formation of the current coalition, Deri asked for the Interior Ministry portfolio, but after the Planning Authority was split from the Interior Ministry and transferred to the Finance Ministry at the request of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Deri chose the Ministry of Economy instead.

Upon his resignation from the Economy Ministry over the government debate around the controversial natural gas plan, Deri was assured that he would be compensated with an additional portfolio besides the Negev and Galilee Ministry. Deri eyed the Interior Ministry, but Shalom refused to become Economy Minister. Shalom’s resignation, however, paves the way for Deri to receive the Interior Ministry.

Until Deri is indeed appointed to the position, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will also serve as Interior Minister. This will mean that Netanyahu, in addition to serving as Prime Minister and Interior Minister, will also serve as Foreign Minister, Communications Minister, Minister for Regional Cooperation and the Minister of Economy.

Channel 2 News reported on Sunday evening that Tourism Minister Yariv Levin is to be promoted soon to the post of Economy Minister, and that appointments of Likud MKs Tzahi Hanegbi and Benny Begin to ministerial portfolios are being considered as well.