Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday rebuked Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev following her statement after the deadly attack at the Ariel junction, and told her to stick to the messages of the Likud campaign, Channel 12 News reported.
Shortly after the attack in Samaria, in which an IDF soldier was murdered, Regev said, "Ahmed Tibi was not prepared to condemn murderers, and that is what happens when shaheeds are encouraged - and it is with this person that Gantz and Lapid want to form an obstructive bloc. This is what will lead us to the continuation of such attacks."
In recent days, tension between Netanyahu and Regev has increased, after she was excluded from the Likud campaign following internal polls that suggested that Regev does not attract new voters to the party.
According to Channel 12 News, Regev was not even invited to a photography session that had been scheduled for Sunday with senior Likud figures, and which was eventually canceled.
Regev's statement after the attack was severely criticized. "Never in the history of the state has a minister in Israel taken advantage of the deaths of people in terror attacks for political propaganda even before the funerals of those killed," the Blue and White Party said. "Out of respect for the victims, we will not respond beyond that."
Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, number 4 on the Blue and White list, added, "The incident is not over yet, we have not buried our dead yet - and she is already engaged in cheap politics and dancing on the blood of the victim. A disgrace."
The Likud said in response to the Channel 12 report, "The reports surrounding a conversation today between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister Miri Regev are incorrect. The two held a professional and excellent conversation about the election campaign and the continuation of the joint work toward the Likud's victory."