Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz
Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz Alex Kolomoisky/Flash 90

Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz is readying for his resignation Sunday afternoon, and has met with Justice Minister and Hatnua head Tzipi Livni to discuss his dismissal before a controversial vote, sources told Walla! News

Peretz, who was interviewed on Channel 2, announced Saturday he does not intend to remain in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government, who he said “has reached a point at which he does not prove his right to continue to be prime minister.”

"Netanyahu has brought the state of Israel to a state of despair,” charged Peretz, who declared that he does not intend to vote for the state budget Monday and added, “The ramifications of this are clear. The tactical moves – how I will leave the government and when – I want to [coordinate] with Tzipi Livni.”

He further claimed that Netanyahu is held hostage by the extreme right wing. “He gives extremists legitimacy to continue to set the ground aflame,” Peretz charged. “When I heard the prime minister talking at the memorial ceremony for Rabin, I wanted to get up and leave. I stayed only out of respect for the event.”

Following the announcement, a clash broke out between Peretz and Netanyahu during the weekly Cabinet meeting, with Netanyahu noting that Peretz's job as minister has not been fulfilled in its entirety.

"The role of a leader is to see the [current] reality [of terror -ed.] and to join forces against it," Netanyahu fired. "We are in the midst of a campaign of incitement against us from radical Islamists, which denies us not only the rights to Jerusalem and to the Temple Mount, but also our right to exist as individuals."

Netanyahu reiterated that the ministers' roles are to unite in face of the violence to enact change, adding, "I thank you for recognizing that your place is not at the governmental table." 

Peretz, for his part, blamed the avalanche of political, economic, and security changes in Israel over the past several months on Netanyahu.

"The role of the Prime Minister to rise above the fervor and political needs and show responsibility towards the citizens of Israel," Peretz said. 

Peretz also roiled against the idea that ministers who are rallying for peace talks - which he claims are the long-term solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict - are being accused of folding in the face of terror. 

"I led war against terrorism with determination, just like you are - even against Hezbollah and Hamas -  and I believed and promoted  peace talks as part of the overall security strategy of the State of Israel," he said.

Peretz added that, in all likelihood, he will probably step down by the end of Sunday night; it is still unclear who is likely to replace him as Environmental Protection Minister.