Shas leader and Interior Minister Aryeh Deri admitted on Thursday that he should have worked harder to keep the unity government between Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz from falling apart.

“I think it was a huge mistake by [Netanyahu] and by me that we didn’t fight harder not to break up the government, which was an excellent government,” Deri said on Army Radio Thursday morning. “I’m sorry that I didn’t fight harder, that I didn’t do more… it was a mistake and it was a loss for the State of Israel, especially when I see what the alternative is.”

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After three consecutive inconclusive elections, Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White parties agreed to form a unity coalition in April 2020. But just over six months after it was formed, the government was dissolved when the sides could not agree on passing a 2020 budget, and a new election was called for March 2021. The move was widely seen as being engineered by Netanyahu so as to avoid handing over the premiership to Gantz, as stipulated in the coalition agreement between them.

Deri, who promised when the Netanyahu-Gantz coalition took shape to personally guarantee that Netanyahu would hand over the premiership to Gantz in November 2021 as agreed, suggested Thursday that while Gantz was a stalwart member of the government, he bore some of the blame for its collapse.

Read more at Times of Israel.