According to a Srugim News report quoting “sources in the ruling party”, statements by Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett that he was promised to become the defense minister are based in truth, clarifying it was not a promise but an understanding. Persons in the prime minister’s inner circle explain the understanding included the fact that Bayit Yehudi would increase its numbers from 12 in the last Knesset, but this did not occur since the party only earned 8 seats in the current Knesset.
Part of the understanding they explain also included a cessation of attacks against Likud by Bennett, but this has not occurred as Bennett continues lashing out after elections. The officials now explain that since Bayit Yehudi has diminished in size and since Bennett continues to attack Netanyahu and Likud, the understanding is no longer valid.
Channel 2 News’ Amit Segal reported on Tuesday 25 Nissan that the prime minister did indeed promise Bennett that he would serve as defense minister. In return, Bennett promised to back bringing the chareidi parties into the coalition at the expense of Yesh Atid or alternatively, backing the prime minister if the Knesset is dissolved. The two met in the Prime Minister’s Office in November and there was a handshake on the agreement.
Officials in the prime minister’s circle now clarify that the reason the agreement is not being implemented is that Bayit Yehudi failed to meet the conditions.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)