While politicians have often been called cold-blooded, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upped the ante Monday when he hinted that his cabinet was a pit of vipers.

Speaking to an elementary school student on the opening day of classes, Netanyahu asked the boy what kind of animals he liked. The pupil responded, “Snakes.”

“You like to take care of snakes?” replied a visibly delighted prime minister. “Come, I’ll give you a few.”

The Israeli press immediately jumped on the remark by Netanyahu, who recently aired grievances about his cabinet ministers mouthing off to the press at the height of Operation Protective Edge, claiming that they were attempting to undermine him for political capital.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, among others, both openly criticized government policy during the conflict, calling for harsher measures against Hamas and the Palestinians.