Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is threatening to sue his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, if he does not apologize for saying the Likud leader and his family suffer from mental illness.
A spokesman for the Netanyahu family confirmed Monday that the Netanyahus' attorney sent Olmert the letter of warning in advance of a possible defamation suit.
In an interview last week with Israeli news site Democrat TV, Olmert leveled criticism at Netanyahu and said that "what is irreparable is the mental illness of the prime minister, his wife and his son [Yair]."
In 2017, the incumbent premier's eldest son and viral right-wing provocateur Yair pushed unsubstantiated claims alleging that one of Olmert's sons was having a homosexual affair with a Palestinian man in Paris.
According to Channel 12 TV, a Netanyahu family attorney demanded that Olmert apologize within a week and pay 1 million shekels ($306,000) in damages or face a libel lawsuit.
Olmert showed no signs of backing down Monday, telling Channel 13 TV: "The time has come to tell this family: that is enough."
Olmert preceded Netanyahu as Israel's prime minister but resigned in 2008 before he was formally indicted on corruption charges. He was convicted of fraud in 2014 and served most of a 27-month prison sentence.
Netanyahu is currently on trial for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes, but denies any wrongdoing. He has refused to step down from office while under indictment.