Israel’s Shas Threatens 'Civil War'
The Israeli orthodox party, Shas, is being drawn towards a "civil war," warned Raphael Pinhasi, secretary of the party's council of Torah sages, as Shas leaders reacted with outrage to calls for the removal of the tent that yeshiva (religious students) set up outside Ma'asiyahu prison near Ramle, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.
The yeshiva was established last Sunday, when former party chairman Aryeh Deri began serving his three-year prison term, the paper said, adding that Justice Minister Yossi Beilin demanded that the culprits be removed. As a result, Shas convened Monday despite the current parliamentary break.
Party chairman MK Eli Yishai who rejected the demand and demeanor of Justice Minister Beilin's call to evacuate the Yeshiva.
Deri, 41, stepped down as the leader of Shas in June after being found guilty of accepting bribes worth 95,000 dollars, along with fraud and abuse of power while he was a senior official and then minister at the interior ministry from 1985 to 1990.
Originally from Morocco, Deri founded Shas in 1984 and has often played kingmaker in Israeli governments, throwing its weight at times behind the right wing Likud, at times behind Labor - Albawaba.com
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