Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuLiron Moldovan/POOL/Flash90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement Wednesday evening sharply attacking Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett after he returned the mandate to form the government to President Reuven Rivlin.

"Naftali Bennett spoke of a unity government. This is misleading language. It is in fact a dangerous left-wing government, a deadly combination of no vision and irresponsibility - Bennett and Shaked swore they would not go to such a government," Netanyahu claimed.

"Bennett is lying to the public, he signed an agreement not to sit with Lapid and the left. He signed it the day before the election. Now Bennett is breaking all their obligations one by one. That is why MK Chikli, bravely, said he was not willing to be part of a dangerous government. Most Yamina voters oppose such a government and with them a huge majority of right-wing voters," he said.

He wondered, "With Nitzan Horowitz, can IDF soldiers be protected from the claims of the International Court of Justice in The Hague? Does he agree with them? Can Yair Lapid fight the Iranian nuclear deal? With Merav Michaeli, can we educate our children? After all, she called on mothers not to send our children to the IDF. With Ibtisam Mara'ana, can we defend the settlements? It will be a dangerous left-wing government."

"Shaked and Bennett and the MKs of Yamina - you're not working for your constituents. If you stand with the right, you decide the fate of the campaign. Let us form a right-wing government that will stand up to the challenges," the prime minister added.

"When we form a solid right-wing bloc of 59 seats - we will have a government. With such a bloc, when the choice is either a right-wing government or elections, there are several right-wing MKs who despite their denials will join us, we will form a government and we will not have to go to the polls ... It's in our hands, it's in your hands," Netanyahu concluded.