Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett Hezki Ezra

Education Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett said on Saturday night that if opposition chairman MK Yitzhak Herzog plans on joining the coalition, he will have to accept the coalition’s guidelines which say that there will be no Palestinian state.

Speaking to Channel 2 News, Bennett said, "If Herzog wants to join the government on the basis of the absence of a Palestinian state - that's great; if he wants to change the government's guidelines, we will not be there."

"The government's guidelines are not talking about a Palestinian state, so what the Prime Minister says [regarding a Palestinian state] is his own stance - this is not the position of the Israeli government," he stressed.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has in recent days called for unity in Israel, in wake of the recent security situation. Zionist Union members have mostly rejected the calls, though reports last month indicated that Netanyahu had offered Herzog several ministerial portfolios in the government and in return was willing to “phase out” Bennett from the coalition.

In Saturday’s interview, Bennett also addressed his talks with IDF commanders in the field, which resulted in Netanyahu reprimanding him during Operation Protective Edge last summer.

"I went down to the field during Protective Edge, I met officers and I was reprimanded for it and I will be continue to be reprimanded, but I don’t care because that’s what brought about the destruction of the [Hamas terror tunnels],” he continued. “If that's what causes things to change, I will be reprimanded with great pride...let them reprimand me from here to eternity."

Regarding the demand to build new homes in Judea and Samaria, Bennett said there was no building freeze in the region, but there was not enough construction.

"There is no freeze in Judea and Samaria, in recent years the residents of Judea and Samaria grew by fifty percent. Is there sufficient building? No," he said.

Bennett also stressed in an interview that "there will be no blanket prohibition to ascent the Temple Mount. We must not harm the rights of Jews."

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