Min. Aryeh Deri: 'Netanyahu and I made a mistake in dissolving the Knesset'

'Mistake to dissolve Knesset, I will help whoever my replacement happens to be,' promises outgoing Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Aryeh Deri
Aryeh Deri
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas), who is expected to become part of the opposition when the new government is sworn on in Sunday, slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's conduct over the past several weeks.

"I have a lot of criticism of Netanyahu," Deri told Galei Zahal Thursday morning. "Dissolving the current unity government, which was an amazing government - that was his huge mistake, and mine also, since I did not fight with him."

Deri added that he does not expect the incoming government to last, saying, "We will bring this government down very quickly. They only want to see Netanyahu pack up his boxes and leave."

"We will fight this government in democratic ways - but we will transfer the power in the most organized fashion. I will help whoever my replacement happens to be."

Regarding Yamina Chairman MK Naftali Bennett, who is set to become prime minister next week, Deri said: "Bennett told me during negotiations, 'You are the most appropriate for the position of prime minister, you're the most experienced. Why shouldn't you take it?' But I don't have it in me to do everything to sit in that seat."

"I'm not the strongest when it comes to Knesset work, and I thought that if we go to the opposition, I will be able to dedicate my time to other things - but I understood that that is a mistake. We'll sleep in the Knesset, we'll eat there, we'll work, and we'll serve the public," he emphasized.

Deri also responded to Housing Minister Yakov Litzman's (United Torah Judaism) harsh attack on Bennett, in which he called on Bennett to "remove the kippah (skullcap)" because he "embarrasses it."

"We are all Jews, it doesn't matter what kind of kippah," he said. "No one has the right to say who isn't [religious]."

"This isn't my style," Deri emphasized, but added that "Litzman's words stem from enormous pain, don't judge him for this word."