Rafi Peretz
Rafi Peretz Arutz Sheva

Education Minister Rafi Peretz has refused to rule out the possibility of bolting from the Yamina party and joining the soon-to-be-formed unity government, according to a report by Reshet Bet.

The report cited sources close to Peretz who say that if he is offered an ‘influential position’ in some field of special interest to the Religious Zionist community, he will consider joining the new government led by Binyamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz.

In addition, the report said Peretz does not expect to receive a high-level ministry portfolio, such as the Education Ministry portfolio, which he currently holds. Peretz reportedly will not accept, however, a position as deputy minister or as a minister without a portfolio.

If Peretz is to be included in Thursday’s swearing-in, a deal must be cut with the Likud at least 24 hours prior to Thursday’s ceremony.

The Reshet Bet report comes following a pledge by the four leaders of Yamina and its three constituent factions – Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked of the New Right faction; Rafi Peretz of the Jewish Home faction; and Bezalel Smotrich of the National Union – not to break up the Yamina alliance or join the new unity government individually, without the rest of Yamina.

At present, Yamina appears to be headed for the opposition, after Yamina and the Likud failed to reach an agreement to include the party in the upcoming unity government.