The cooperation between Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid
has the Likud up in arms, as officials in the reelected ruling party blamed the former of hindering the coalition talks to the point where it may force the formation of a left-wing government.
With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's
attempts to form a coalition is hitting snags, Habayit Hayehudi, which won 12 Knesset seats, seems to have toughened its position – to the point where party sources said that Habayit Hayehudi will not joint a Right-haredi government.
"Netanyahu has to understand that we have a political alliance with Lapid," a party insider told Ynet. "Will we enter the government? Eventually. But it will be under our own terms, with senior portfolios and without the haredim – just like Lapid is demanding."
The Likud, in response, is also using a harsher tone: "Throughout the election campaign, (Bennett) said he wanted to pursue a national camp
government, headed by Netanyahu," a member of the coalition negotiations team said. "Now he seems adamant to stand in the way of one."
Another top Likud member said that "Bennett
simply defrauded his constituents. He played up his willingness to align with Netanyahu and now he's cooperating with the Left to undermine him."
If Habayit Hayehudi chair continues, the source warned, "He will force another election and the Left will prevail. Bennett is pushing his personal agenda – not what's best for his voters."
The party rebuffed the allegations, saying that "Habayit Hayehudi
has sided with Netanyahu throughout the election campaign and will make sure to be in his government.
"If we focus on the new government's agenda and not on media spins, it could happen sooner, rather than later."
Yuval Karni contributed to this report
Tzvika Brot and Yuval Karni are Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondents
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