Shas denies boycotting final cabinet meeting of gov't

Party sources say ministers did not attend meeting due to personal engagements, and not in protest of being excluded from next coalition; PM praises outgoing cabinet, warns of "tremendous" security challenges for next gov't.

Netanyahu looking morose at cabinet meeting 370 (photo credit: GPO)
Netanyahu looking morose at cabinet meeting 370
(photo credit: GPO)
Sources in Shas denied Sunday that the party instructed its members to boycott the final cabinet meeting of the outgoing government, Channel 10 reported.
All of Shas' ministers stayed away from the meeting, apparently in protest at not being included in the next coalition.
Party officials told Channel 10 the ministers did not come due to personal engagements and that outgoing Interior Minister Eli Yishai did attend the meeting, albeit he was late. Yishai's office also denied that the party instructed its minister to boycott the meeting, according to Channel 10.
Nevertheless, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heaped praise on the outgoing cabinet, saying it will – with time – be remembered as a government that achieved more of its aims than almost any other in the history of the state.
Netanyahu said the outgoing government "brought Israel to a position where it is more secure and prosperous" than before it was set up four years ago.
What makes the feat more impressive, Netanyahu continued, was that it was done at a time when "the world around us was changing for the worse; the regional situation changed for the worse, and the world economy is shaking, not stable." Netanyahu said the challenges the country still faces, in addition to "tremendous" security challenges, are bringing down the cost of living and housing, and equalizing the country's military and tax burden.
He added that there was no word other than "tremendous" to characterize the security challenges, which he said were "piling up around us, and we will of course need to deal with that in the next government."
He said that the work of the outgoing government should be an example for the one that will now come in its place.