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Meet Aryeh Deri: Israel's Ultra-Orthodox strongman in Netanyahu’s cabinet

Counting on ultra-Orthodox Shas leader Aryeh Deri to become the more moderate face of his government, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has offered him a slew of ministerial portfolios and responsibilities.
Amir Levy/Getty Images

The Israeli coalition agreement that the Likud reached with the Mizrahi ultra-Orthodox Shas party on Thursday, grants the party’s unchallenged leader Aryeh Deri the most senior position in Benjamin Netanyahu’s emerging government.

The inked deal stipulates that for the first part of the government’s term which extends for two years, Deri will serve as both health and interior minister. In the second part, he will switch, and take over as finance minister from the leader of the Religious Zionism party, Bezalel Smotrich.

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