In a move that could signal another election, the Likud party has cancelled a weekly government meeting that was set to take place on Sunday morning over the Blue & White's alleged refusal to discuss a new coronavirus rescue package.
The latest row adds to the current stand-off between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz over the passage of the state budget, which threatens to trigger Israel's fourth election in a little over a year amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Likud in a statement blamed Blue & White for "refusal to put the new coronavirus aid program on the meeting's agenda".
Gantz's party, however, refuted the claims calling the move "an excuse" and saying, "this is not the first time the Likud has failed to fulfill its commitment".s
"This is a multi-billion, long-term aid plan that has not presented in full and has not been finalized," said Blue & White. "The attempt to table it overnight is nothing more than an irresponsible political spin. We expect the Likud to abide by the coalition agreement and approve the government's bylaws," it added.
"Israeli citizens expect stability and credibility from the government, and Blue & White will not agree to undemine this ... Blue and White informed the Likud that any vote related to coronavirus bills will not be delayed and will go through via a telephone vote."
According to the Likud, the latest rescue package, drafted by Netanyahu and Finance Minister Israel Katz, will cost the taxpayer around NIS 8.5 billion and seeks to help the population sectors hit the most by the economic crisis brought upon by the pandemic.
"The package will create about 10,000 new jobs, NIS 700 million will be transferred to fund food for underprivileged families and NIS 600 million are meant for the extension of the unemployment payments to those aged 67 and over and people put on unpaid leave," said the Likud.