Shas leader Aryeh Deri at faction meeting, December 31, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Speaking at the last Shas faction meeting before the Knesset disperses, Shas leader Aryeh Deri said that the party would increase its representation in the next Knesset.
"There is no question that in the coming elections Shas will increase its power," Deri said. "Shas proved its worth during this Knesset session."
Deri also responded to Saturday's announcement that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett would be leaving Habayit Hayehudi to form a new secular-religious right-wing party called Hayemin Hehadash.
"It is very painful for me that after being partners in all of the government's decisions, they suddenly remembered to attack Netanyahu and government policy," Deri said.
Bennett and Shaked were both members of the cabinet.
Despite his optimism, Deri is facing jail time
after police recommended in November that he be indicted on counts of fraud and breach of trust.
The Israel Police's Lahav 433 Unit announced that it had completed its joint investigation with the Tax Authority into allegations against the minister and would submit their findings and recommendations to the State Attorney's Office.
The investigation found sufficient evidence against the Shas Party leader of fraud and breach of trust with respect to his conduct with a businessman while serving as a minister, as well as for significant tax offenses amounting to millions of shekels, money laundering, disruption of court proceedings and giving false information to the Knesset speaker and the state comptroller regarding his assets and income.