Outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has given an interview to The New York Times, titled “Naftali Bennett’s Exit Interview.”
Bennett says that his coalition “‘experiment’ was a success,” but opponents on both political extremes “found the weakest links and applied tremendous pressure.”
The Knesset is expected to formally disperse as early as Monday.
The newspaper says Bennett prides himself on what he was able to accomplish with his radically different coalition partners, by simply being willing to “set aside ideological disagreements” and focus on “better education, better jobs, better infrastructure.”
Speaking on Iran, Bennett says the regime in Tehran is “rotten, corrupt and incompetent.”
He says that when Iranians “hit us through proxies or directly, they will pay a price in Iran,” outlining what he calls the “Octopus doctrine” of striking Tehran at its head rather than its tentacles.
“It turns out these guys are more vulnerable than they seem,” he adds.
On Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed amid a gun battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp in May, Bennett says IDF soldiers “definitely” did not intentionally target her.
“What I do know is that Israeli soldiers definitely do not shoot intentionally. Never will Israeli soldiers intentionally target reporters,” he tells the Times.