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Supreme Court's rejection of Israeli gas plan has ministers fuming

Government ministers have launched an assault on the Supreme Court after its rejection of the natural gas outline.

Some 15 years ago, Aryeh Deri entered the gates of the Maasiyahu Prison, southeast of Tel Aviv, to begin serving time after being convicted of bribery, fraud and breach of trust while serving as minister of interior and chairman of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas Party. On March 29, Deri’s name was, once again, linked to suspicions of alleged criminal wrongdoing while serving, once again, as minister of interior and Shas chairman. The first Deri affair, which resulted in his incarceration in September 2000, marked a low point in the Israeli judicial system's public standing. This week, the court was again made a scapegoat by irresponsible, unbridled politicians.

Back in 2000, hundreds of followers accompanied Deri to the gates of Maasiyahu, chanting, “He is innocent,” after unanimous court decisions involving six judges (three at the district court level and three on the Supreme Court). Public figures, rabbis and a prominent journalist, the late Amnon Dankner, made pilgrimages to a protest tent proclaimed “The Roar of the Lion” — Aryeh means “lion” in Hebrew — erected outside the prison gates.

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