Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking for a reason to put his political partnership with Benny Gantz on hold and dissolve the unity government, calling for another election, The Times of Israel reported.
“The marriage between us and Blue and White will end at the Rabbinate [with a divorce] much faster than everyone thinks. Netanyahu is trying to find the right timing and pretext to call elections”, a senior Likud source was quoted as saying by Channel 12 on Sunday.
According to the source, this pretext could be provided after talks over the state budget that are set to be completed by the end of August, as Netanyahu’s son and wife are said to be urging him to disband the unity government. These allegations, however, were reportedly denied by Likud and characterized as an “ugly lie”.
The Israeli PM has also reportedly demanded the change of a key clause of the power-sharing deal with the Blue and White that envisaged Gantz automatically becoming transitional PM instead of Netanyahu if elections are called between November 2020 and November 2021.
The reports come amid the Knesset being divided on the intention of an extension of Israel’s sovereignty over West Bank territories – plans that have also caused disagreements between Netanyahu and Gantz, as the PM is determined to push the corresponding bill forward and Gantz remains publicly unsure that he can support it.