Aryeh Deri, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef
Aryeh Deri, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri continued Thursday morning to reject the option of his party sitting in a left-wing government led by Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog. 

This latest refusal, however, comes on the backdrop of a Haaretz headline from Wednesday, entitled, "Shas Doesn't Rule Out Coalition with Herzog."

Deri, who participated in an online chat with Haaretz readers on Tuesday is quoted as saying, "I don't, heaven forbid, rule out Herzog. I said I wouldn't sit in a narrow left-wing government."

Still, the paper then included Shas on its list of possible coalition partners for a potential Labor-Hatnua led government under Herzog and Tzipi Livni. 

Explaining himself to Army Radio on Thursday, Deri noted, "I unequivocally said I will not sit in a leftist government, and then I was asked about my personal friendship with Herzog and I answered that I'm not ruling Buji out personally."

"I explained clearly that Shas' partnership with Likud goes way back. It is a pity Netanyahu was wrong and made a mistake [in the last government], when he preferred Lapid's family to the Shas family," Deri continued. 

"We will make sure Bibi will be social Bibi," Deri added. 

According to Deri, it's unlikely Likud will try to form a government again without the presence of Shas. 

"I think Netanyahu and the Likud realized they made a mistake when they formed the [previous] government without natural partners. A government without natural partners doesn't work."

"Netanyahu realized that if he had gone with us two years ago, the government would not have broken apart and Israel would have saved two billion shekels," Deri concluded. 

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