(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon will not fire his No. 2 in Kulanu, Construction Minister Yoav Gallant, any time soon, despite proof he is active in Likud, sources close to Kahlon told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday night.
Channel 10 played a tape of Gallant telling Likud activists in April that he intends to move to Likud, because he wants to be defense minister after the next general election. Gallant told the crowd that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wanted him in his Likud Party and was encouraging him to come.
"I can't get the Defense Ministry from Kahlon," Gallant said.
Kahlon's associates denied reports that the firing will take place soon. Reports before the tape was revealed quoted sources saying that Kahlon would fire him if there was proof Gallant was active in Likud.
"Moshe has known about that tape for two months," a source close to Kahlon said. "Moshe has close ties in Likud and people have been telling him what Gallant is doing. It's just not his personality to fire him."
Kahlon and Gallant appeared to get along and work together well at a meeting of the Kulanu faction on Monday.
If he is not fired, Gallant intends to remain in Kulanu until just ahead of the next election, because if he leaves for Likud now, he would have to quit the Knesset.
Kahlon pleaded unsuccessfully with Gallant last week to not publish his plan for building tens of thousands of housing units in central West Bank settlements. Kahlon’s associates said the plan to build in central West Bank cities like Ariel and Modi’in Illit had no economic benefits and would not solve the housing shortage in the center of the country. They said the only benefit of the plan was that it would aid Gallant’s efforts to join the Likud.