Shas Chairman MK Aryeh Deri announced Thursday that his party would not give Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government a "safety net," refusing to form a new coalition to enable a peace deal loaded with Israeli withdrawals.
The statement comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Israel for his tenth visit since taking office, raising ire among the Israeli public for his planned January diplomatic "offensive" to force Israeli concessions.
Deri told Kol Yisrael radio that since the 2005 "Disengagement" from Gaza, his thinking has changed, and he now feels a commitment to Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.
It is worth noting that Deri was part of the coalition government that instituted the 1993 Oslo Accords. In January 2013, Deri claimed he "didn't understand" what the Accords were about when he abstained in a crucial vote that enabled the agreement to be passed.
On Thursday, Deri remarked that he would not aid any political revenge against the Jewish Home party for their opposition to a peace deal, despite their being part of a government that is "boycotting hareidim and pursuing Torah scholars."
Jewish Home MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli stated Monday that her party considered expulsions from Judea and Samaria to be a "red line" which would cause it to leave the coalition. From her words it was clear that the release of terrorist murders the following day was not considered a red line by her party.
In response, former MK Michael Ben-Ari criticized Jewish Home, saying "whoever doesn't leave the government of blood that frees predators who burned and murdered babies, women and men in an intoxication of murder, will not leave the government, even when they expel and uproot Jews."
Deri recently said the "nationalist government" comprised of Likud-Beytenu and Jewish Home "abandoned Jerusalem," as all MKs from the nationalist parties other than MK Moshe Feiglin were absent from a bill requiring 80 MKs to approve any division of Jerusalem. The bill was consequently defeated.