Efforts are underway to heal the rift in the coalition

Attempts were made over the weekend to mend internal differences within Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s ruling coalition ahead of a vote on the state budget.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked to resolve the dispute over her visit last week to the United Arab Emirates. The Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted a minister who criticized Shaked for saying in the UAE that she opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The writer Sima Kadmon quoted the anonymous minister as saying that such a statement in Abu Dhabi was either a sabotage of the peace agreement with the UAE or proves that she does not understand Israel’s foreign relations.

In a Facebook post, Shaked criticized the minister whom her colleagues said was Lapid. She wrote that her Emirati counterpart called her to tell her that her visit had been very successful and said she had received the impression that the Palestinians were not a big problem for UAE leaders. She vowed to continue expressing her view against a Palestinian state no matter where she goes.

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar told Channel 12 on Saturday night that Shaked had the right to express her opinion.

“All these internal disputes are a waste,” Sa’ar said. “It’s important to know when to have self-control.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his coalition ministers attend President Isaac Herzog’s swearing-in ceremony at the Knesset on Wednesday. (Credit: Mark Israel Slim/Jerusalem Post)

Efforts were also made over the weekend to heal the rift between Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, after Bennett had not previously told Gantz that he would reveal in his Knesset speech that there was a secret operation to obtain information on missing pilot Ron Arad. Bennett’s associates blamed Gantz for press reports that the operation was a failure.

“Despite the rumors and disingenuous briefings I have become accustomed to over the past two years, I am very satisfied with my job as Defense Minister, a position that carries broad national responsibility for the fate of the country for which I fought,” Gantz wrote on Facebook. . “I think the government is doing well.”

Channel 13 reported over the weekend that Lapid’s Yesh Atid party would soon hold a leadership race. According to the report, Yesh Atid MKs were told last week that there would be a caucus in the next two months at which race guidelines would be drawn up. No one expected to challenge Lapid.

Party sources described the report as premature. They said the initial meeting to start the process would be held on October 21.

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