Netanyahu is Not Counting Gantz to Keep Coalition

By Hamodia Staff

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister Benny Gantz attend a press conference at the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv. November 22, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

The office of the Prime Minister’s announced this evening that despite threats by the chairman of the ‘state camp’ Minister Benny Gantz to vote against the bill and to consider his further steps due to the reservations he has for funding “coalition funds,” nevertheless “tomorrow we will bring to the government an unprecedented budget of NIS 30 billion for a month and a half, which meets the needs of the war.”

It was also reported that “the budget will provide a full response to the needs of the IDF in defense and attack, will take care of the families of the kidnapped, the wounded, the martyrs and the murdered, the families of the evacuees in the hotels and accommodation, and will ensure that Israel’s economy will continue to work and prosper.”

Netanyahu’s office adds, “The budget will take care of support for reservists, for the Takuma Administration for the rehabilitation of the settlements, for damaged businesses, for emergency rooms and for the health, welfare and education needs of all Israeli citizens.”

They further point out, “Over 70% of coalition funds, NIS 1.6 billion, have already been cut, and what is left is intended for civilian needs such as teachers’ salaries and not for any political use. The political debate is about 1 percent of the entire budget. The budget is large and significant because Israel’s economy stable and strong”.

Gantz: opposes the coalition funds — I will vote against

Earlier this evening, the chairman of the state camp, Minister Benny Gantz, addressed a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and clarified that he opposes the coalition funds planned to be transferred tomorrow at the cabinet meeting and clarified that if the funds are transferred, the state camp will consider continuing its steps.

In a letter to Netanyahu, Gantz wrote: “Tomorrow there will be a government meeting, which will deal, among other things, with updating the budget frameworks for the fiscal year 2023 and beyond, including the transfer of coalition funds and the diversion of many funds to various expenses that are not related to the war or growth.

As was clarified in our meeting, held on 11/23/23 — in the presence of the Minister of Finance — my faction and I will oppose the distribution of coalition funds or any additional budget that is not related to the war effort or promotes growth in the economy.”

According to Gantz, “The transfer of coalition funds and funds for ministerial uses that are not related to the war, as the finance minister is seeking to promote these days, will damage Israeli resilience and the existing cohesion in Israeli society. At this time, the whole of Israeli society must go under the stretcher, the entire public knows this, and it is appropriate that the government also Israel will act like this.

“We are facing tremendous economic and social challenges going forward as well, and a deficit that is expected to grow significantly and affect the economy. At this time, any free money must go to the needs of the war and to them only.

“I repeat my demand to divert all possible coalition resources and funds that have not yet been used up for the fiscal year 2023 and accordingly also for the year 2024, immediately to the needs of the war and its consequences.”

At the end, Gantz wrote that, “if the meeting takes place and the budget remains intact, the state camp faction will vote against the proposed budget, and will consider its next steps.”

It should be noted that among the coalition funds, there is also the “Ofek Hadad” program for ultra-Orthodox teachers, which was postponed already a month ago. Following Gantz’s opposition, there is a fear that even this month the teachers will not get what they deserve.

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