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Supreme Court Asks Rabin To Fire Interior Minister

September 8, 1993

JERUSALEM (AP) _ In a decision that could threaten the Middle East peace talks, the Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to fire a minister and a deputy minister who are under investigation for corruption.

The two, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Rafael Pinchasi, belong to the ultra-Orthodox Shas Party.

Shas has threatened to bolt Rabin’s ruling coalition if Deri and Pinchasi are fired. Shas has six seats in the 120-seat Parliament.

Without Shas, Rabin could continue to rule with a thin one-vote margin since his coalition would still control 56 seats and have the support of five Arab legislators who are not part of the coalition.

But Shas’ departure would rob Rabin of his Jewish majority for making peace with the Arabs and weaken his ability to grant concessions in the peace talks.

A police investigation against Deri began more than three years ago. When Rabin formed his government in July 1992, Deri gave him a letter promising he would suspend himself the moment an indictment was submitted against him in court.

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