Netanyahu, Bennett reach cease-fire in war of words

Shaked: Government can last four years.

August 3, 2016 01:24
1 minute read.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennet

PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Education Minister Naftali Bennet. (photo credit: SASSON TIRAM,REUTERS)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett ended their dispute over the relationship between the government and the media overnight between Monday and Tuesday, sources in their parties said.

Netanyahu’s and Bennett’s parties issued fierce attacks throughout Monday, accusing each other of helping the Left at the government’s expense. But by the end of the day, they decided to put the dispute behind them.

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“The fight is over, but just like in Gaza, the fear is that the cease-fire will be violated in a matter of days,” a source close to Netanyahu said.

Transportation Minister Israel Katz (Likud) mocked a statement by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) that “this government needs a vacation immediately, before it is hospitalized.”

Katz said the government would get no rest because it was so busy getting things done.

Sources close to Bennett said he was not interested in fighting with Netanyahu to begin with. They said Bayit Yehudi was dragged into the dispute by Netanyahu and the Likud.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said the spat between her Bayit Yehudi party and the Likud was just a “passing issue.”

“Despite the crises, there is no reason why the coalition in its current format cannot survive until the end of its term,” she told the Knesset Reporters Association.

“The coalition is homogeneous and works well. It depends on Netanyahu.”

The justice minister said the current government functioned better than the previous one. But if Netanyahu took away the Justice Ministry from Bayit Yehudi and gave it to the Zionist Union, Bayit Yehudi would not remain in the coalition, she said.

Shaked denied rumors that she will jump from Bayit Yehudi to the Likud, and said she does not plan to run for head of Bayit Yehudi.

“I think Naftali Bennett is the best choice for prime minister after Netanyahu,” she stated. “I want to be justice minister for another term.”

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