At the direction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Shas chairman Aryeh Deri has been receiving security updates at his home that are intended for cabinet members only, Kan 11 News reported on Wednesday. Deri serves as a permanent observer in the cabinet.
According to the report, an officer with the rank of lieutenant colonel arrives at the home of the Shas chairman and gives him security and operational updates. Deri also receives updates from the Prime Minister's Military Secretary, Major General Avi Gil.
However, according to the guidelines of the Knesset’s legal advisers, a Prime Minister is not permitted to invite a member of the Knesset to participate in cabinet meetings on a regular basis.
Deri arrived on Tuesday at the meeting of the political-security cabinet, after being absent from the two previous discussions. In January, Netanyahu fired Deri from his roles as Interior and Health Minister.
The move was necessitated by the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Shas chairman may not serve as a minister in the current government following his conviction for tax offenses one year ago.
In the dismissal letter to Deri, Netanyahu wrote, "I thought it was important that you serve the State of Israel as a member of the political-security cabinet in my government, where you can make an impact with your many years of experience, even as a cabinet member in the government of Prime Ministers Shamir and Rabin."
The Prime Minister's Office and the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit did not respond to the report.