"I might continue to serve the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel as part of a strong and united leadership that will cope with the security, political and economic challenges" ahead.
On Friday, he said:
"I know I committed no crime."
"I decided to resign from my post as foreign minister and deputy prime minister."
"I will now be able to end this matter quickly and without delays, and finally clear my name."
He's been hounded for years, he added. "Not a day passed without me being referred to as 'a suspect,' 'being under investigation,' (or) 'being an intelligence target.' "
"This has been one long and rolling case, receiving a different title every now and then."
Netanyahu had no comment on Friday. Hours ahead of Weinstein's decision, he said:- Advertisement -
"I believe in Israel's legal system and respect it. The right that it grants any Israeli citizen to defend himself also extends to Minister Lieberman, and I hope for him that he'll be able to prove that he's also innocent regarding the only case that remains."
He likely knew what was coming but hinted nothing.
Under Israeli law, when a cabinet minister resigns, the prime minister becomes "custodian" of his portfolio until a replacement is appointed.
Ahead of January 22 elections, expect Netanyahu to handle foreign affairs until they're concluded.
What's ahead for Lieberman remains to be seen. He's an embarrassment to legitimate governance. He's an ultranationalist extremist.
He, Netanyahu, and likeminded extremists represent the lunatic fringe of Israeli politics.
In his youth, Lieberman was a Kach party member. He remains true to its ideological roots. The difference between Kach and Yisrael Beiteinu are miniscule.