PM Netanyahu
PM Netanyahu Photo by Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke about his efforts to form a government, blaming Blue and White MK Yair Lapid, the party's number two, for the failure to form a unity government and calling for direct elections for prime minister.

"In recent weeks, I've made a lot of progress," Netanyahu said. "I did everything possible to form a unity government and avoid unnecessary elections. I updated [Blue and White Chairman MK] Benny Gantz and others in Blue and White regarding very sensitive intelligence and diplomatic information."

"They know very well what the threats from Iran are, they know very well about the enormous opportunities we have with the US and Arab countries.

"And despite this, they still do not place the national interest at the top of their priority list, instead [prioritizing] Yair Lapid's personal fantasy of becoming prime minister."

"It's not too late yet," Netanyahu emphasized. "But if they don't recover and form a national unity government, there's going to be one more thing we can do to avoid unnecessary elections for the Knesset: To vote directly for the prime minister, [in a vote for either] Benny Gantz or myself. "

"In the Blue and White, they claim they know what the nation wants. So I'm in favor of letting the nation decide, and no one else - not even the media."