Yesh Atid MK Yaakov Peri resigned from the Knesset on Wednesday, following reports that he leaked information about the investigation of allegations of corruption by Interior Minister Arye Deri in the 1990s, when Peri was the head of the Shin Bet.
“In the past months there are those who are trying to undermine my credibility and long years of service to the State of Israel,” Peri said. “Due to the fact that these one-sided publications are casting a heavy shadow on my long years of service for the security of Israel and on the values of Yesh Atid, I have decided to take time out from my public life and resign from the Knesset.”
Last month, the investigative journalism television program Uvda aired a report about Peri leaking information to Deri, who eventually went to prison on corruption charges, and returned to the position of interior minister in recent years. According to the report, Peri failed multiple polygraph tests in which he was asked about the leaks.
Uvda tweeted on Wednesday that Peri resigned ahead of another investigation about him that the program had yet to air.
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid had defended Peri after the report was broadcast, but on Wednesday, he said Peri’s decision “reflects the values of Yesh Atid and the public norms which we believe in.”
“The contribution of MK Yaakov Peri to the security of the State of Israel is among the greatest that the country has ever known,” Lapid said.
Peri will be replaced by Pnina Tamnu- Shata, who was a member of the previous Knesset and the first-ever Israeli female lawmaker born in Ethiopia.
Also on Wednesday, MK Youssef Atauna of the Joint List resigned from the Knesset, as part of the faction’s rotation agreement, and will be replaced by Younis Wael.
The Joint List is made up of several parties and has a rotation agreement that had some MKs resign in the middle of the term. Atauna is from the Hadash party, and Wael is in Ta’al.
Wael, a father of five from Arara, is a nurse by profession, who in recent years managed an events hall.
There are ongoing negotiations in the Joint List as to whether Wael will remain in the Knesset for long, or if he will resign and be replaced by Nivin Abu Rahmon of Balad, because Balad missed out on its turn to have four representatives in the Knesset after former MK Basel Ghattas resigned from the Knesset and went to prison for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian terrorists in prison.