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Liberman vows to take control of Shas ministries

ByGIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 19, 2012 21:27

Parties vie for Housing, Interior portfolios; Liberman: The criteria for public housing will be IDF service and working.

Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman 390. (photo credit:Flash 90)

Yisrael Beytenu ministers will control the interior and construction and housing ministries that are currently led by Shas, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman vowed in a speech at the Sderot Conference Wednesday.

Liberman confirmed a report by Ben Caspit published in The Jerusalem Post Friday that the two Shas ministries would be among his demands. Liberman has declined to respond to the rest of the report, which said that he would ask for the Finance Ministry for himself, rather than go back to being foreign minister.



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"On the issue of affordable housing, I hear a lot of talk and no action,” Liberman said. “We decided as a party to insist on the Housing and Interior portfolios. The criteria for public housing will be IDF service and working.”

Shas leaders and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett have also claimed those two critical portfolios for their parties and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has also promised to keep the Housing Ministry for the Likud.

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Liberman said the first bill submitted by Yisrael Beytenu in the first week of the next Knesset would be on equalizing IDF service, and he promised not to make concessions on the issue.

He blasted Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich for earning a large salary when she was a Channel 2 anchor while technicians were earning a meager income and for insisting on clean government after her party's number two, MK Isaac Herzog remained silent under oath in former prime minister Ehud Barak's non-profit organizations scandal.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein met with top police brass at his office Wednesday night to decide how to move forward with the Belarus Ambassador Affair. Weinstein was expected to choose between indicting Liberman as early as Thursday or delaying the indictment until more witnesses testify and Liberman undergoes further questioning.

Ma'ariv
quoted members of the Foreign Ministry's diplomatic appointments committee saying that then-deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon, who headed the committee, made clear to them that they had to choose Ze'ev Ben Aryeh as ambassador. Ayalon has declined to comment and he has yet to be questioned in the investigation.
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