Yair Lapid
Yair LapidYoni Kempinski

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), who also serves as Alternate Prime Minister, is holding intensive negotiations with the Joint Arab List and its MK Ahmad Tibi, regarding funding for Arab towns - in exchange for their cooperation in the Knesset, Kan Bet reported.

According to the report, Lapid is holding the negotiations independently, and did not update Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at all.

The negotiations are being led by the Director General of Lapid's office, Naama Schultz, who is working with the Transportation Ministry and Finance Ministry in order to approve the request. Tibi has demanded a sum of 200 million NIS ($59,675,040) for the project.

Lapid's office responded: "The Israeli government is working during these days to rehabilitate the infrastructure that has been neglected all across the country. This is our job and unlike previous governments, we actually do it."

MK Sami Abou Shahadeh of the Joint Arab List said, "My party has no connection at all to negotiations with Lapid and there is no place for providing a security net to any occupying government. I will bring next Wednesday the bill to dissolve the Knesset. This bad government must fall."

Bennett's Yamina party responded, "The government will not rely on the Joint Arab List in any situation, and we have no agreements with them at all. The above report is not true. The State of Israel takes care of all the citizens of Israel, and there is a spin here by politicians to make it seem as if routine government activities are actually the result of a political agreement."

The party also claimed that from the perspective of the nationalist parties in the opposition, "any school or community center which would have been built regardless is considered 'an agreement to cave to the Arabs.'" The leaders of the Likud, Religious Zionism, and United Torah Judaism parties, the statement claimed, "are the ones cooperating with Tibi and [Joint Arab List MK Ayman] Odeh in order to bring down the 'From Uniform to Studies' law. We will not allow them this."

The Religious Zionism party shot back: "Now these are no longer rumors but facts: The Bennett-Lapid-Abbas government is relying on the security net provided by Israel's terror-supporting, anti-Zionist enemies from the Joint Arab List. The ones who hit police officers, call IDF soldiers Nazis, and see the State of Israel as an occupier in its own land, are the new partners of Yamina and New Hope, to preserve their seats."

"There is no red line that has not been crossed and no promise that has not been broken. Every day that this government continues to exist endangers the State of Israel and turns it into something extorted by Ahmad Tibi and Ayman Odeh. We will bring it down, G-d willing, very quickly and replace it with a Jewish, Zionist, and nationalist government that is good for Israel."