Wednesday’s stormy cabinet meeting over the proposed withdrawal of IDF soldiers from Palestinian Authority cities nearly led to the removal of the Jewish Home party and a potential coalition crisis, senior officials said.
The fracas began on Wednesday morning ahead of a planned cabinet meeting. Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), who has long pressed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to hold a coalition meeting on the issue of IDF operations inside major Palestinian Authority cities, noticed that the subject was not on the day’s agenda.
Bennett, who on Sunday had received assurances from Netanyahu that the issue would be included in Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, called out the Prime Minister, telling him “keep your promise.”
Netanyahu lashed out at Bennett, reportedly telling him “you don’t decide anything here.”
Senior officials told Yediot Ahronot that the tussle between the two only grew worse, with the Prime Minister at one point threatening to fire Bennett from the coalition.
A spokesperson responding on behalf of Bennett refused to discuss to the incident, condemning those responsible for leaking details of the cabinet meeting.
“We won’t discuss details of a closed security meeting. These cabinet leaks are very serious and could endanger state security. I expect the Prime Minister to deal with these [leaks] as such.”