Bennett warns: We'll fight from the opposition

Jewish Home party keeps up pressure on prime minister, says 'human life is more important than government portfolios.'

Ari Soffer ,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Hezki Baruch

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett hit out again on Sunday morning over Prime Minister Netanyahu's refusal to accept his demands for Security Cabinet reforms, warning he was not afraid to continue fighting from the opposition.

"We are not asking for jobs or money," the Education Minister said at a press conference at the Beit Himmelfarb school in Jerusalem, where he was paying a visit along with President Reuven Rivlin. "We are asking to save lives."

"I will continue to fight for and protect the soldiers of the IDF and the residents of the Gaza Belt from any position I will be in - from the government or from outside of it," Bennett continued, in a not-so-subtle warning to Netanyahu.

Bennett has conditioned his party's support for including the Yisrael Beytenu party in the coalition on the PM enacting reforms to the Security Cabinet, including the appointment of a military secretary whose task will be to ensure that all cabinet members are fully briefed on military matters.

Earlier, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked warned the Jewish Home party wasn't planning on backing down, and was prepared to topple the government over the issue.

Without the Jewish Home party's eight votes, the current coalition of 61 plus Yisrael's Beytenu's five seats would not be able to approve the coalition expansion when it goes up for a Knesset vote, with only 58 MKs in favor.

Bennett warned that without the reforms he is demanding, the mistakes of the past would continue to repeat themselves, endangering Israeli lives.

"Ten years ago I was sent along with thousands of soldiers to the Second Lebanon War, by a Cabinet which did not know its objectives or what it was voting for," he added. "I vowed that when I got out of the Lebanon War I would not allow this kind of thing to ever happen again.""Sadly, two years ago as well, during Operation Protective Edge, the Cabinet... did not understand the topic of the (terror) tunnels until I brought it to their attention on June 30, as well as the solution to the problem. I will not let this recur," he vowed.

"We are not asking for jobs or money," he repeated. "We are asking to save human lives. Human lives are more important than government portfolios."