Benny Gantz
Benny GantzOlivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

A senior official in Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party on Monday night warned that the coalition could be dismantled.

The threat came hours after Gantz and the Blue and White party announced they would boycott votes on bills in the Knesset plenum, in protest of the failure to promote their law on the expansion of military pensions.

The senior official told Kan 11 News, "Bennett and Lapid must handle this, otherwise the government will disintegrate. It is impossible for those who are on the margins to lead and run the government, it will not last."

Kan 11 News also reported that Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Finance Minister Yair Lapid were furious that Gantz's announcement of a boycott came an hour before his planned meeting with Bennett.

A senior coalition official said following the Blue and White boycott, "We were surprised by Gantz's move. This childish behavior on the part of Gantz, who thinks everyone is dumb. This is not about national security but about his friends' pensions. Again he acts sour and tries to undermine the stability of the government like a little child. Maybe he's fantasizing about a government with Bibi again?"

The senior official's remarks were made as Bennett and Gantz were meeting at the Prime Minister's office in the Knesset. Gantz proceeded to leave the meeting and his associates said "there is no way that Gantz will sit in a room with Bennett while reporters are being briefed over his head. He got up and left."

As a result of Gantz’s boycott, the plenum was closed in the absence of a majority for the coalition. Bennett told reporters after the meeting with Gantz: "The government is doing excellent things for the citizens of Israel, there is a problem and we will solve it."

The Blue and White party said, "The cowardly and mysterious briefings of self-appointed senior officials against IDF fighters and servicemen are crossing a red line. Gantz's concern for IDF fighters and servicemen comes out of a deep concern for the security of the state and the existence of the IDF as a strong and capable army. If there are elements who are willing to harm IDF fighters and servicemen for political and post-Zionist reasons, Gantz will not allow it."