Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett delivered a statement to the media Wednesday evening responding to the Likud party's attacks against him.
"The State of Israel urgently needs a functioning and stable government. With all due respect to what has been happening in the last two years in the Knesset, there are people outside. There are people who need to return to work and businesses that need to be rehabilitated. The citizens of Israel are tired of the quarrels. They want a government that will work for them," Bennett began.
He said, "While the people want a government, Netanyahu is interested in elections. We will not agree to that. The Likud's attacks were predictable and do not impress me. I am committed to my values and to the citizens of the State of Israel."
He noted that "two weeks ago Mr. Netanyahu received from the President the mandate to form a government. I immediately told Netanyahu that he has the support of the Yamina faction, to form a right-wing government. Unfortunately, despite long hours and long days of investment on our part, I realized that while we try to leave no stone unturned in order to form a government, Netanyahu is constantly evading and attacking us. He is afraid to put pressure on those who have climbed up high trees, unwilling to offer compromises, and strives for only one thing - another election, the fifth, this time in a direct election. There is no government, no one will have a government. We will go to the polls again, for the fifth, sixth and seventh times."
He clarified that "for me, the first priority is to form a right-wing government. Netanyahu, you have us, to form a government. If the Likud fails in the task, then as my second priority I will work to form a unity government. My condition is that it be a stable and functioning government and that I be able to maintain my values. Only if these two things are not possible will we have to go to the fifth election in one form or another."