Tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his deputy Moshe (Bogi) Yaalon are "on the verge of explosion," Likud sources say.
Yaalon, who serves as Minister for Strategic Affairs, has recently escalated his statements against the PM and in conversations with other ministers charged that "Bibi has been taken captive by Ehud (Barak)".
The rift between the two figures had grown against the backdrop of Yaalon's objection to extending the settlement construction freeze. The deputy PM slammed Netanyahu for "capitulating" to American demands.
Yaalon is also holding Defense Minister Barak accountable for the extended moratorium, charging that most understanding with the US on this front were secured by Barak during his trip to America a few weeks ago.
Yaalon slammed the move on Sunday already, referring to it as a "honey trap." At that same Likud session, the deputy PM told Netanyahu that he is violating his pledges not to extend the freeze.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu's close associates also had harsh words for Yaalon, and a government source said that "officials at Netanyahu's office are very angry at the minister for strategic affairs."
Wednesday morning, Yaalon signed a Yesha Council letter objecting to the extended freeze, in essence placing himself at the head of the group of "rebels" against PM Netanyahu.