Miri Regev
Miri Regev Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

MK Miri Regev said on Friday that she would run for the leadership of the Likud after current Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu steps away.

"I announced that, the day after Netanyahu, I will run for the Likud leadership," Regev told Channel 12 News in an interview.

Responding to a question about polls showing that the Likud would win 30 seats if it were led by Nir Barkat, she stated, "I saw the polls, I am unfazed by the polls. I will do everything to ensure that Gideon [Sa'ar], Ayelet [Shaked] or [Ze'ev] Elkin do not return to the Likud. The Likud is not the punching bag of any politician. Anyone who harmed the Likud will not have a place in the Likud - and I will do everything to make it happen."

Asked about reports that MK Yisrael Katz is holding talks with the goal of forming a government led by him, Regev replied, "I have not heard about this it and I think that if he is indeed doing it, he is making a very big mistake. I suggest that we wait for Netanyahu's decision [about signing a plea bargain]. Netanyahu should take his time in making his difficult decision. Already starting to distribute the loot is not the right thing to do. We will act in accordance with the Likud bylaws. Yisrael Katz will probably not be the only candidate for the Likud leadership."

"It could be that Katz is working behind the scenes, but in order to be the chairman of the Likud, you have to be elected," Regev explained. "The day after Netanyahu, I too will run alongside many others who said they will run. I suggest at this time that we respect Netanyahu and not act behind his back or work to form a coalition. In my opinion, this entire conduct is ugly if it is indeed taking place."

Regev also commented on the contacts on a plea bargain between Netanyahu and the Attorney General.

"I was not offended by Netanyahu. There is no place to be offended here, it is a personal decision. I would recommend going all the way with the trial because I believe in Netanyahu's innocence, but I will respect his every decision. I do not want to put myself in his shoes, this is a family that has been persecuted for many years. I do not know what Netanyahu is willing to admit. Many people admit to things they do not believe in. Many people admit in a plea bargain because they do not believe in the justice system. So many people have signed a plea deal because it's the shortest way to end it."

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)