Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz Oded Karni/GPO

Gantz: Netanyahu could lead to elections that are terrible for Israel

Defense Minister and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz commented on the crisis with the Likud and the threat of elections at the start of a faction meeting on Wednesday evening.

"Nothing has changed from three months ago when we formed a unity government to deal with the challenges of the state from the health, economic and social coronavirus we are facing these days. Nothing requires elections," he said.

"Unlike others, we do not play poker at the expense of the citizens of Israel," Gantz added.

He noted that the Likud is not interested in real negotiations. "When we went to this agreement with the Likud, we went for it despite the barrage of warnings we received. We went to the agreement because at a critical time, and in a terrible rift, we have a national commitment to the people, the state, society, and it will ensure Israel's stability and livelihood."

"In recent days, we have been in contact with the Likud out of a genuine readiness to prevent elections and find the solution that will serve the State of Israel. I did not come to solve anyone's personal problems - our willingness to compromise will only be based on the agreement signed and the needs of the State of Israel. In the coming days we will continue to hear spins from all sides - we will continue to navigate honestly and in accordance to our principles," Gantz concluded.

Earlier on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, one of the leaders of Blue and White, commented in closed talks on the crisis with the Likud.

"Netanyahu does not want to evacuate Balfour in any way, he will do everything to avoid it. We must not fold. If he is determined to go to elections, let's see him do it," Ashkenazi said, according to Kan 11 News.

The Likud in response accused Ashkenazi of undermining Gantz.

"Gabi Ashkenazi started the Blue and White primaries campaign and is pushing with all his might for elections. Apparently more than overthrowing Netanyahu, he wants to overthrow Gantz."

"Blue and White should stop engaging in politics and stopping the budget in order to start the school year on time - and allow the government to continue to take care of the citizens of Israel," the Likud said.