'Frustrated' MK David Tal Resigns From Shas Faction

The chairman of the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee, MK David Tal (Shas), announced his resignation from the Knesset on Tuesday. His place in the Shas faction will be filled by Pini Tzuberi, a representative of Rabbi Meir Mazuz from Bnei Brak.

Tal, 52, has served in the Knesset since 1996. He has chaired the Labor and Welfare committee since 1999, while also serving as deputy Knesset Speaker.

In the past term, he worked to advance social initiatives in his committee, including bills to increase the minimum wage and instate mandatory pensions, as well as other proposals.

Tal rejected rumors circulating in the Knesset according to which he would be running for the upcoming Knesset elections on Amir Peretz's One Nation party list.

Tal, who is considered a close associate of former Shas leader Aryeh Deri, said that he was resigning because he had done all that he could within the framework of the Shas party.

"I'm frustrated that I can't reach my full potential. I was told that I could attain any position aside from government minister. I work very hard and everyone gives me professional praise, but there is no indication of a possible advancement. I've decided that I can't move ahead, and therefore, I have given back the mandate in an honest manner," he told a press conference yesterday.

Shas spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef made a request Monday, via Shas chairman Eli Yishai, that Tal postpone his scheduled press conference on his decision to resign. Tal agreed to the request, and postponed his resignation by one day.