Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deriצילום: Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Interior Minister and Shas party chief Aryeh Deri to serve as prime minister for the first year of a new government under a rotational arrangement, Israel Hayom reported.

As part of a bid to end the ongoing political deadlock, Netanyahu is said to have drawn up a plan under which another candidate would serve as premier for the first year of a four-year term, with Netanyahu then returning to the premiership for two years, before rotating out for the final year of the term.

One of the candidates considered for this scheme was Deri, to whom Netanyahu offered the first year as prime minister, in the hopes that New Hope chairman Gideon Sa’ar could be convinced to drop his opposition to joining a Likud-led government if a candidate other than Netanyahu were to serve initially as premier.

According to the report, Deri has rejected the offer, though senior Likud officials have continued to press Deri to reconsider.

Officials from the Shas party confirmed the report.

A statement issued by the Interior Minister’s office read: “Minister Deri is not interested in the position of Prime Minister.”

Netanyahu is said to be considering making a similar offer to Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett, or to a senior Likud lawmaker.

On Sunday, it was reported that Netanyahu had made a similar offer to Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White).

The report Sunday said that Gantz was hesitant to accept, but did not reject the offer outright.

“I don’t see it being feasible,” Gantz is quoted as saying.