Moshe Abutbul
Moshe AbutbulPhotography: Avraham Hillel Schreiber/TPS

The battle for the position of mayor of Beit Shemesh took a new turn as Shas announced this evening (Sunday) that it supports Deputy Minister MK Moshe Abutbul for the position of mayor of Beit Shemesh.

According to a statement delivered during the party’s meeting that took place today in the presence of its ministers and MKs, Shas announced that after receiving the blessing and support of the Council of Torah Sages and all the rabbis of the communities in Beit Shemesh, Deputy Minister Rabbi Moshe Abutbul will be their candidate for mayor of Beit Shemesh.

It was also reported that "Rabbi Abutbul is the most authentic and experienced haredi representative of Beit Shemesh, who served for a decade as a successful mayor, during which time he was responsible for the huge construction boom in the city and the flourishing of Torah institutions. He is widely respected by all circles and communities in the city."

However, the haredi parties believe that Abutbul is a candidate whose goal is to improve the bargaining chips, and this, after the Lithuanian faction signed on an agreement with the dominant Hasidic sections of the city in favor of supporting its candidate – Shmuel Greenberg.