Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel Smotrich Noam Moskowitz, Knesset spokesperson

The chairman of the Religious Zionist Party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, on Thursday evening reacted sharply to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who had made a statement in the Knesset.

Bennett declared in his remarks, "The Israeli government under my leadership will take care of everyone", to which Smotrich responded, "You are not a Prime Minister. You are a puppet on a string, a cork that temporarily closes a hole, a bridge until Lapid enters the Prime Minister’s Office and power is transferred to the left in full. You know very well that this is how all your government partners treat you and no pose will change that."

Earlier, Bennett said, "Hold on a little longer. From the moment the budget passes, the State of Israel will enter a new position and will return to function. I want to say tonight to all the citizens of the State of Israel, those who are in favor of the government, those who are against the government and those who criticize the government: Friends, the Israeli government under my leadership will take care of everyone."

Meanwhile on Thursday, a senior Likud official told Arutz Sheva that the party will remain in the opposition for several years if the state budget is approved, and pointed an accusing finger at opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Once the budget is passed we will be stuck for years in the opposition. As long as Bibi remains we cannot return to power even with 40 seats. He has too many enemies blocking him," the senior official said. "As long as Bibi remains, he will leave Bennett as Prime Minister and unite the coalition."