Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that there was "no doubt" new elections were around the corner if agreements between the coalition's two biggest parties continue to be scuttled.
“When agreements are not respected on the part of Blue & White, there is no doubt that we are on the way to elections,” Netanyahu reportedly told media sources after being asked about the ongoing friction in his government between Defense Minister Benny Gantz' party and his own Likud.
"If Blue & White were to take a different approach and start cooperating with the government, instead of trying to form government within a government, then we can continue to work together again," added Netanyahu.
"Everyone understands that this [situation with Blue & White] will eventually lead to elections,” said Netanyahu, who adamantly blames Blue & White leader Defense Minister Benny Gantz for the breakdown in relations between the two parties.
Rumors of a new election, which would be the fourth in less than two years, have been circling for months and centers on a major rift over the state budget, which has yet to be passed in the Knesset.
Tensions hit a new high earlier this month, after Gantz announced that his ministry is opening an inquiry into the so-called "Submarine Affair," which allegedly saw a number of the prime minister's close associates advocate for the purchase of submarines and patrol boats from German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp in return for kickbacks.
Blue & White dismissed Netanyahu's allegations that it was a political ploy meant to undermine him, and also accused the Likud of trying to bring about early elections.
“The one who violated [coalition] agreements, held up appointments, and deprived the state of a budget over political and personal motives, is Benjamin Netanyahu,” the party said in a statement.
“It’s not by chance that the overwhelming majority of the public accuses Netanyahu of pushing for elections in the [opinion] polls, it’s because it’s true.”
Published with permission from i24NEWS