World Bulletin / News Desk
The leader of Shas, Israel's largest ultraorthodox religious party, has resigned from Knesset, adding more excitement to Israel's political stage ahead of a general snap election scheduled for March 17.
Aryeh Deri's resignation came hard on the heels of a crisis that erupted on Sunday following the emergence of a 2008 video of the late Shas mentor Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth said Deri had submitted his resignation letter to the head of Knesset.
Israel's law make it permissible for Deri to reconsider his resignation within 48 hours.
Israel Radio, meanwhile, said Deri had submitted his resignation from Knesset late on Monday against the background of a duel between him and his party's former chairman Eli Yishai.
Yishai shocked Shas members by publishing a video in which Rabbi Ovadia Yosef describes Deri as a "liar."
Channel 2 said the conflict between Deri and Yishai was the largest within Shas. The channel added that 11 other Shas members intended to quit parliament, following in the footsteps of their party leader.
Israel's Knesset should continue to be functional until the snap elections are held.