Esawi Frej
Esawi Frej Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej (Meretz) announced his decision to take a break from politics, and called on Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz to step down as Meretz chairman.

Instead, Frej called on former Meretz MK Zehava Galon to return to politics and lead his party.

"Zehava Galon is the only one today who is capable of uniting the ranks within Meretz," Frej told Kan Bet. "Yair Golan is a diligent and good man, but he doesn't have the DNA of the party. He made statements which are not appropriate for our party line."

"Nitzan Horowitz is a person with values who won six Knesset seats, but he did not manage to keep them. Each of us did as he saw fit. We did not have a leader to lead us. He could have been a great MK."

Earlier, it was reported that Horowitz was trying to push various senior Meretz MKs out of the party following Frej's announcement that he would leave politics.

According to the report, Meretz MKs said that Horowitz had created a political "kill list" aiming to advance four MKs to realistic spots in the party while relegating the all others to lower spots ahead of elections.

A statement from Horowitz's office said, "There is not a shred of truth to this [report]."

A Meretz statement said, "There is no kill list. Meretz has a democracy and the voters will decide."