Aryeh Deri
Aryeh DeriKobi Richter/TPS

Shas chairman and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said on Thursday evening that his party will agree to sit in a coalition with Yair Lapid, provided he agrees to maintain the status quo and does not demand changes on matters related to religion and state.

"Even though we said before the elections that we will not sit with Lapid, the results of the elections are clear. Anything is possible if Yair Lapid agrees to sit with us based on maintaining the status quo," Deri told the haredi radio station Kol BaRama.

On Thursday morning, Deri was interviewed on Reshet Bet radio, where he called on Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz to adopt President Reuven Rivlin’s proposal for an equal unity government.

"If he is truly honest and wants a unity government, there is one outline suggested by the president. Why waste another 28 days [on attempts to form a coalition]?" Deri said.

Deri claimed that Gantz sought to meet with the leader of each of the parties on the right in an attempt to disband the united right-wing bloc. "The purpose of the meetings is to try to dismantle the bloc. Since I am the one who wants a broad national unity government the most, the only way to achieve that is for Gantz to understand that he should not listen to the advice given to him which claims there will be a revolt in the Likud or that Netanyahu will be replaced and then the haredim will come crawling.”

Meanwhile, MK Ofer Shelah (Blue and White) claimed that the president's outline is no longer relevant after Gantz had been given the mandate to form the government.

"The president's outline no longer exists. Everyone should internalize that. In the next 28 days, there is one person who can be prime minister in the state of Israel and that is Benny Gantz. After 28 days, if we are unsuccessful, the process will not return to the president. There will be chaos in the Knesset. Anyone who wants for a government to be formed and for the nightmare of a third election to be avoided should talk to Blue and White about a government headed by Benny Gantz," said Shelah.