Sources: Gantz Stays in Government Despite Disagreement on Coalition Funds

By Yoni Weiss

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Minister Benny Gantz hold a joint press conference at the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, on Nov. 11. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Sources from within Minister Benny Gantz’s National Unity party asserted Monday that Gantz has no intention to exit the coalition, despite Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s stance favoring minimal cuts in coalition funds.

According to one of the sources, “We’ve engaged with Smotrich multiple times, attempting to alter the decision, but the likelihood of success is slim. Bibi [Binyamin Netanyahu] is apprehensive of Smotrich. This isn’t a mutually agreed-upon government, and we lack the authority to prevent this course of action.”

The government aims to implement a revised distribution of coalition funds on Monday, as sanctioned in the budget for 2023. Despite assertions from Smotrich and the Prime Minister’s Office regarding a 70% reduction in coalition funds, the final proposal set for government presentation indicates that the total allocation for coalition funds in 2023 will amount to NIS 4.86 billion, down from the initially designated NIS 5.82 billion. Essentially, this translates to a reduction of under 20% for 2023.

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