"To vote for [Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar] Ben-Gvir is to vote against the IDF," Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday, following the two politicians indirectly trading barbs in the leadup to Israel's election.
"Ben-Gvir is in a different realm," Lapid said in a statement. "To vote for Ben-Gvir is to vote against the IDF."
This comes after Ben-Gvir responded to statements Lapid had earlier made to Ynet, calling the far-right MK a "dangerous explosive" that was responsible for Jewish settler attacks on the IDF.
Ben-Gvir: Lapid "leaves IDF to their fate in in front of terrorists"
"When the failed transitional Prime Minister Lapid attacks me, I know I'm on the right path," Ben-Gvir said in a statement.
"Unlike Lapid, who ties the hands of the IDF soldiers in the fight against terrorism and leaves them to their fate in front of terrorists, I embrace the soldiers and demand that they be granted immunity."
"Unlike Lapid, who ties the hands of the IDF soldiers in the fight against terrorism and leaves them to their fate in front of terrorists, I embrace the soldiers and demand that they be granted immunity."Itamar Ben-Gvir
Ben-Gvir further attacked Lapid for being the figure behind the formation of the previous government, which set up a diverse coalition including members of the Left like Meretz and the Islamist party Ra'am. This party, Ben-Gvir charged, "supports the murder of IDF soldiers," and Lapid would have no problem forming a government with the Joint List, whose leaders, Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh, "declared that they support the murder of soldiers."
"This is the true face of Lapid, who is understandably under pressure from the fact that in a week and a half, with God's help, we will win the elections, establish a full-fledged right-wing government and send him back to the opposition benches," Ben-Gvir said.
Earlier, Lapid accused Ben-Gvir, widely considered to have made numerous incendiary and provocative controversial statements, of having been responsible for inciting Jewish settlers to attack IDF soldiers, which had happened last week.