NetanyahuMarc Israel Sellem/GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office raised concerns a little over a week ago that a “rebellion” had been planned in the Likud Party, in the form of an alliance between MKs Yoav Gallant, Dudi Amsalem and David Bitan, who were also reportedly joined by Yuli Edelstein.

According to a report by Yehuda Schlesinger in the Israel Hayom newspaper, the concern arose even before the dismissal of Gallant from his position as Defense Minister, and the Prime Minister's Office feared that the MKs had made a deal between them and had joined forces in order to pressure the Prime Minister and even oppose the judicial reform, leading to its failure to pass in the Knesset.

Those suspicions rose following meetings that were held by Minister Gallant and Amsalem. Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office claimed that the two, together with Bitan and Edelstein, who have not hidden their criticism of the government's conduct and their support for the rejection of the judicial reform, were establishing an alliance that will be an opposition to Netanyahu from within.

According to the report, in order to thwart the move, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich was called to the Prime Minister's Office and asked to transfer powers over the Government Companies Authority to Amsalem, even though the issue was not mentioned at all in the coalition agreements and was not agreed upon beforehand.

The Prime Minister's office argued to Smotrich that Gallant had made a “deal” with Amsalem which, they claimed, must be dismantled and that this is an important move that will preserve the integrity of the coalition and as such, Smotrich had to give up those powers, to his chagrin.

In addition, in order to break up the deal, Amsalem was appointed to the position of Minister in the Ministry of Justice, the Minister for Regional Cooperation, the Minister who Liaises between the Knesset and the Government, and also the Minister in charge of the Government Companies Authority.

The fact that Gallant is also considered to be part of the deal is now a major obstacle to his return to the position of Minister of Defense, despite the pressure exerted on Netanyahu to reinstate him. Close associates of Netanyahu who are against reinstating Gallant have spoken about the lack of trust in Gallant and the fear that he will plan similar moves in the future.

Aides to Gallant rejected such claims in the past week and stated that he does not have, did not have and will not have any connection to the organizations of resistance groups within the Likud. Netanyahu's office would not comment on the report.