MK Moshe Gafni with Gantz and Ashkenazi
MK Moshe Gafni with Gantz and Ashkenazi Adina Wallman, Knesset Spokesperson

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Construction Minister Yaakov Litzman, leaders of the Shas and United Torah Judaism parties, respectively, are siding with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his demand to approve a one-year budget, Channel 12 News reported on Monday.

According to the report, the haredi parties sent a message to Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz and informed him that if he agrees to a one-year budget there will be no election and he will be able to take over the post of Prime Minister next year, in accordance with the rotation agreement.

Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu commented on the issue of the budget at the start of the Likud faction meeting and said, "At this time, there is no point in going to elections. Israel does not need elections, it needs a budget. That is what all the economists are saying. If we pass a budget, we can give more money to Israeli citizens and encourage employment.”

Gantz, meanwhile, said at a Blue and White faction meeting, "According to the coalition agreement signed with the Likud, the budget should be in effect until the end of 2021. This is what was agreed upon when we were at the height of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. If the Likud abides by the agreement, governmental and economic stability will be guaranteed."

Meanwhile, senior Finance Ministry officials who initially supported the Prime Minister's position that a one-year budget should be approved have changed their position. In their opinion, within the current schedule, there is no point in approve a one-year budget. The right thing to do professionally, they opine, is to pass a budget which runs until the end of 2021.