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Further cracks as Israel’s unity government fails to agree on budget

August 4, 2020 at 3:10 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and alternate Prime Minister and Defence Minister Benny Gantz (L) issue a statement at the Israeli Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv on July 27, 2020 [TAL SHAHAR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel’s power sharing government has been unable to reach an agreement to approve the state budget.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at loggerheads with Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz of the Blue and White Party with the former insisting on a single-year budget, the latter on a two-year budget.

Regional Cooperation Minister Ofir Akunis, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, said that Gantz’s backing of the single-year budget would help prevent early elections soon and would lead to stability.

The Likud “isn’t going to blink” in the standoff with Blue and White over the budget, Akunis was quoted in Times of Israel as saying.

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“Everyone will know who led Israel to a fourth election,” he added. “The blame will all go to Gantz.”

He also told Kan radio station that Gantz is irresponsible because his stances come as Israel is facing the danger of a possible third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that the Covid-19 crisis is the reason why his party, the Likud, is insisting on a one-year budget despite an earlier agreement among the unity government to adopt a two-year budget.

But Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel said that there is no economic justification for Netanyahu’s and Likud’s stance regarding the budget.