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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed a senior minister from office, complying with a Supreme Court ruling amid a deepening rift over the power of the courts.

Netanyahu announced he was firing Aryeh Deri, who served as interior and health minister, at a meeting of the Cabinet of Israel on Sunday.

Israel’s Supreme Court decided last week that Deri could not serve as a Cabinet minister because of a conviction last year over tax offences.

“It is with a heavy heart, with great sorrow and with an extremely difficult feeling that I am forced to transfer you from your position as a minister in the government,” Netanyahu told Deri during the Cabinet meeting, according to a statement from the PM’s office.

Deri, the leader of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish party Shas, was appointed to Netanyahu’s Cabinet last month after Israel’s November elections.

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