Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Friday that despite his decision to resign from the government and the Knesset he has no intention to step away from political life permanently and he will contend for the leadership of the country again in the future.
Ya'alon announced on social media earlier on Friday that he was resigning after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replaced him as defense minister in favor of Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman. According to Israeli media reports, he turned down an offer by Netanyahu to serve as foreign minister.
Ya'alon thanked Netanyahu for the years of cooperation the two enjoyed, particularly during Operation Protective Edge, but said that disagreements had arisen recently between himself and Netanyahu.
In his earlier statement explaining his decison Ya'alon said that he had "lost faith" in Netanyahu.
Ya'alon lamented extremist and racist elements getting stronger in society and in the Likud party of which he is a member.
"Unfortunately senior politicians have chosen incitement as means to hold on to power, rather than uniting the society," Ya'alon stated.
Ya'alon said that Likud of today "is not the Likud that I joined, of Jabotinsky and Begin."
The outgoing defense minister had come under attack recently from the Right for speaking out against an IDF soldier who shot a wounded and prone Palestinian terrorist and for backing the right of IDF commanders to voice their opinions after Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan said that processes taking place in Israel today are reminiscent of events in pre-Nazi Germany.