Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Housing Minister Ariel Attias on Tuesday said that his Shas party will
either vote against a proposed 90-day extension of the moratorium on
settlement construction or they will abstain from such a vote, depending
on the opinion of the faction's spiritual leader. Attias's comments
came in an interview with Israel Radio.
"We will not support the
proposal. We will either oppose it or abstain from voting, depending
upon the decision of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef," said Attias.
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said that Shas is interested in building in Jerusalem and ensuring that
any freeze would not include a moratorium on construction of homes in
Attias told Army Radio on Tuesday that Rabbi Yosef
had not made his final decision because the US had not given Israel its
final proposal, laying out benefits the US would give Israel in return
for an extension of the freeze.
A Shas abstention from the cabinet vote would likely give Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu a narrow majority in favor of the freeze.
As Netanyahu tried to sway opposing cabinet members to support the
agreement he is hammering out with the US, MKs from his own Likud Party
met in the Knesset on Monday to stop him.
Those present included: Edelstein, coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin, Danny
Danon, Yariv Levin, Tzipi Hotovely, Miri Regev and Haim Katz.
They agreed to formulate a “lightning campaign” intended to sway Shas
not to abstain in the vote on the deal when Netanyahu brings it to the
15- member security cabinet.
Danon told the Post that he had written a letter to Shas spiritual
leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in which he called upon the rabbi to “check if
it is really true” and to “ask to see in writing” American commitments
regarding continued building following the end of the proposed
The anti-freeze Likud MKs believe that the two Shas ministers with votes
in the security cabinet are leaning in opposite directions, with
Interior Minister Eli Yishai tending toward opposing the freeze and
Attias leaning toward supporting it.
The Likud opponents also want to erase Netanyahu’s narrow margin of
support among the seven security cabinet members who are expected to
support Netanyahu when he brings the deal to a vote.