Reports floated Friday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had asked former Likud minister and Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon to unite his party with Likud.
According to the reports, Netanyahu promised Kahlon the finance portfolio if the two parties were to run on a joint list.
Kahlon made the issue even more public Friday with stinging comments against Netanyahu and Likud on his Facebok page.
"Thanks Bibi [Netanyahu], but no," Kahlon wrote, before listing his reasons not to join with the Prime Minister.
"I did not return to politics to return to the Likud. I did not return to be part of a party who leader who folded the social flag at the expense of his constituents – who is afraid to fight monopolies and powerful groups that prevent young couples from buying an apartment at a sane price, all while they suffocate from bank fees and food prices."
Kahlon, who served as Minister of Communications and Minister of Welfare before leaving politics behind in 2013, has been harshly critical of Netanyahu's socio-economic and diplomatic policies since his departure from Likud.
"Thanks Bibi, but no," he continued on his Facebook page. "I could only fill the position of Minister of Finance, which you've offered me more than once, as the Chairman of Kulanu – the only social party in Israel – and only for the benefit of the citizens of Israel, in whichever coalition they choose."
Sources at Kulanu's headquarters claim that attorney David Shimron, a close associate of Netanyahu, contacted Kobi Kahlon, the Chairman's brother, and offered the Finance Ministry in exchange for a joint list.
Kulanu's headquarters argue that Kahlon refused the deal and decided to continue running alone.
Likud, for its part, squarely denied the claims and said, instead, that it was Kahlon who had approached them about a deal.
Sources allege that Shimron met with Kahlon's brother, who offered the proposition of unification, before presenting Kahlon's suggestion to Netanyahu, who nixed the deal.
In response to Kulanu's claims, Likud representatives said: "Likud officials, including Attorney Shimron, maintain regular contact with representatives of different political parties. Kahlon's party had not received any such proposal. The opposite is true."