Amir Peretz on Tuesday evening informed the newly elected chairwoman of the Labor Party, MK Merav Michaeli, that he will be terminating his membership in the Labor Party and resigning from the Knesset.
At the same time, Peretz announced that he accepted Defense Minister Benny Gantz's request to continue serving as Minister of Economy and Industry.
Michaeli, who was elected as chairwoman of Labor on Sunday, had informed Peretz and Itzik Shmuli that they must relinquish their roles as ministers in the government.
Peretz wrote in his letter to Michaeli, "I have no intention of being dragged into the hate campaign you are producing these days."
“Since I have announced that I do not intend to be included in any slate for the 24th Knesset, and since this is a transitional government where any departure of a minister belonging to the center-left bloc only strengthens the right-wing bloc, I decided to accede to the request of Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Gantz and to continue to fulfill my role as Minister of Economy and Industry,” he continued.
"I will continue to work for the hundreds of thousands of unemployed as part of my responsibility for the employment service. For the self-employed who need assistance and preparation for the post-coronavirus rehabilitation program. I will continue to help factories that are facing difficulties and encourage the establishments of new factories. I am currently working to deploy a strong and broad technological dome over all areas of the periphery and the non-Jewish sector through new priorities that I have set together with the Innovation Authority," Peretz added.
Peretz recently announced that he would not run for the leadership of the Labor Party, in order to allow a new leader to be elected and rehabilitate it.
He has also stated that he intends to run in the presidential election this summer.