Smotrich 'angry but silent' as Netanyahu reaches out to Abbas

Religious Zionism leader reportedly refuses to accept call from PM as Netanyahu reaches out to United Arab List leader.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Religious Zionism is facing a dilemma as Prime Minister Netanyahu reaches out to United Arab List chairman Mahmoud Abbas, crossing a red-line for party chairman Bezalel Smotrich, who has pledged to support the prime minister.

Despite this, Smotrich has remained largely silent, contenting himself with 'liking' tweets criticizing Netanyahu's outreach towards Abbas. Smotrich also reportedly refused to accept a call from Netanyahu.

Religious Zionism candidate Orit Strook said Thursday evening ahead of Abbas' speech in Nazareth that "the very fact that the State of Israel is holding its breath to hear what Mansour Abbas will say is unbearable. And also unforgivable."

People close to Smotrich expressed anger at the prime minister and told Channel 12 News: "Those irresponsible and short-sighted parts of the right who fall at the feet of an Islamic movement leader who in his most conciliatory speech does not recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state prove it much easier to take the Jews out of exile than it is to take the exile out of the Jews."

Meanwhile, Yamina party chairman Naftali Bennett has decided not to recommend Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid for prime minister in his meeting with President Reuven Rivlin.

Bennett will likely also not recommend incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu either, and will likely recommend himself for the premiership.

Bennett will meet with Netanyahu tomorrow, and on Saturday night he will meet with Lapid, ahead of the round of recommendations at the President's Residence on Monday.