Naftali Bennett
Naftali BennettYonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Likud party on Thursday afternoon demanded an investigation be opened against Prime Minister Naftali Bennett following the reporting of a secret agreement with Israel's hospital directors.

"The demand for the investigation follows the revelation of the bribery deal proposed by Bennett in which he demanded that hospital directors lie and mislead the public about the extent of his failure to deal with the coronavirus, in exchange for a budget increase of billions," the party said.

Earlier, Israel Hayom reported that Bennett had reached a secret oral agreement with the hospital directors, under which the directors committed themselves to not reporting, not warning, and not giving interviews to the media regarding the hospitals' insufficiency with regards to the treatment of coronavirus patients in serious condition and with regards to other patients in serious condition. This would apply regardless of the hospitals' actual situation and the quality of care patients receive, and was addressed in conversations with five senior management figures in large hospitals around the country, some of whom are personally involved in the agreement between the Health Ministry and the government.

In a conversation with Israel Hayom, a senior Health Ministry official said that in addition to the above, the government also made an unprecedented demand, for the first time ever, from the Health Ministry, "to drop the standards of medical care in order to say that we can handle the treatment of coronavirus patients and not enter a lockdown."

The Prime Minister's Office said in response that the publication in the newspaper was "false and unfounded."

"There has been no such demand of hospital directors, neither officially nor implicitly, neither in writing nor orally. Hospitals in Israel are headed by top managers and doctors, excellent and honest professionals who save lives every day. Any attempt to belittle their professional integrity belittles our best doctors. The Prime Minister is proud of the strengthening of the health care system in thousands of areas after years of neglect. All the other things that appear in the article simply did not happen in reality.".