Moshe Arbel (l) and Aryeh Deri (r)
Moshe Arbel (l) and Aryeh Deri (r)Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

MK and Deputy Minister Moshe Arbel (Shas) will replace Aryeh Deri as Health Minister and Interior Minister, the Shas party’s spiritual leaders decided Monday.

The Council of Torah Sages, the Shas party’s rabbinic committee, said Monday that it has tapped Arbel, who currently serves as Deputy Health Minister and Deputy Interior Minister to serve as minister for both portfolios until Deri, the former Health and Interior Minister, is reappointed to his positions.

Deri, chairman of the Shas party, resigned from both ministries in January, after the Supreme Court struck down his appointment as “unreasonable,” given his prior corruption convictions.

The Shas chief’s most recent conviction, part of a December 2021 plea bargain, saw Deri resign from the Knesset while avoiding jail time for tax evasion.

Following the Supreme Court ruling, the Shas party vowed to pass legislation barring Israeli courts from using the reasonableness standard to strike down governmental appointments and decisions.

Dubbed the Deri Law, the legislation would enable Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reappoint Deri as minister.

The bill, included in the government’s judicial reform package, was supposed to be passed into law before the end of the Knesset’s winter session last month, but was frozen by Netanyahu amid widespread protests.