TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired a key Cabinet ally on Sunday, heeding a Supreme Court ruling commanding him to do so and deepening a rift over the power of the courts.
A statement from Netanyahu’s office said the Israeli leader fired Interior and Health Minister Aryeh Deri, who the court decided could not serve as a Cabinet minister because of a conviction last year over tax offenses.
The court ruling came as Israel is mired in a dispute over the power of the judiciary. Netanyahu’s far-right government wants to weaken the Supreme Court, limit judicial oversight and grant more power to politicians. Critics say the move upends the country’s system of checks and balances and imperils Israel’s democratic fundamentals.
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