Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon attend a news conference announcing the appointment of the new Bank of Israel Governor, in Jerusalem, October 9, 2018.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon have agreed that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not present a proposal to solve the political crisis gripping the governing coalition Sunday, they will vote on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, leading to new elections, Army Radio reported Sunday.
The report comes on the heels of dueling statements Saturday by Bennett, Kahlon and Netanyahu over whether the government will fall and new elections will be called.
“If Kulanu does not bring down the government, we have a government. We cannot topple a right-wing government,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter. “All of the Likud faction’s members are interested in continuing to serve the country for another year, until the term ends in November 2019.”
Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin also addressed the crisis in the coalition, sparked by former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's dramatic resignation from his post November 14.
Liberman "was giving Hamas a prize," Levin said in an interview on Army Radio. "Now Bennett and Khalon want to give Hamas a second prize by replacing the government?"
In a separate Army Radio interview, Former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that, despite efforts to interfere with his work, he always acted properly.
Liberman said that those claiming he had no impact on the Ministry of Defense "are getting their cues from above," hinting at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In references to the demand made by Bennett that he be appointed defense minister, Liberman said that there is no other reason to give him the Ministry of Defense "other than saving Israeli education."
Liberman rejected the claim his resignation has damaged a "secret defense-related move" undertaken by the Netanyahu administration. "These are just excuses," he said, "for cabinet members to even speak about these things [publicly] is irresponsible." Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.
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