Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted with joy to the dissolution of the government following Prime Minister Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Lapid's decision to dissolve the 24th Knesset.
In a statement to the media following the decision, Netanyahu described Bennett's government as one that "caved to terror and extortion, lost the ability to govern and rule, and had many citizens feeling as if the country was being taken from beneath their feet."
"This is an evening with great news for the masses of citizens in Israel. After a determined struggle by the opposition in the Knesset and the great suffering of the public in Israel, it is clear to everyone that the most failed government in the country's history has ended," said the former leader.
"This government was a government of paralysis that tried desperately to preserve the image that it was working on behalf of the citizens," he stated, adding: "I want to return Israel to its former position of strength. We will accomplish things of historical proportion."
Netanyahu boasted of his former achievements while in office. "We didn't [make peace with the Gulf states] for nothing. We were able to do it because they knew how strong we were," he asserted.
Promising to "form a broad national government headed by the Likud...that will lower taxes, and lead Israel to tremendous achievements including expanding the circle of peace [and] returning the national pride to the citizens of the country" so that "you can walk the streets with your head held high, Netanyahu hinted he would reserve spots in the Likud for breakaway Yamina MKs Amichai Chikli, Idit Silman, and Nir Orbach, referring to them as "brave people who had remained faithful to their electorate."
Netanyahu finished his address by stressing that new elections were a "high probability" since despite a considerable majority in the Knesset, a number of right-wing parties had "ruled [him] out on a personal level." He also repeated promises not to sit in a government with Mansour Abbas and the United Arab List. "[Abbas] reached out to me following the [previous elections] through other sources and inquired about joining the coalition to which I said 'No' without asking [Bezalel] Smotrich or anyone else," he pointed out.