Senior Likud officials, among them some close to the party's leader, MK Benjamin Netanyahu, are fuming at MK David Amsalem for his statement supporting the option of bringing the United Arab List (Ra'am) into a future coalition.
On Sunday, Amsalem told Channel 12 News, "If [Ra'am chairman MK] Mansour Abbas wants to join after we have 61, then that's great. But we cannot rely on him."
"In a ten-second interview, Amsalem destroyed six months of campaigns," the officials said, adding that Netanyahu sees Amsalem "as more of a burden than an asset."
"He really destroyed Netanyahu's campaign," they added, noting that Netanyahu is interesting in gaining the support of the right-wing, moderate, nationalist public.
"Netanyahu is going to distance the problematic candidates in the Likud because they distance him from the 61st Knesset seat. [Foreign Minister Yair] Lapid's (Yesh Atid) dream is to receive the top Likud officials - Amsalem, [Shlomo] Karhi, and [Galit] Distel, and Netanyahu understands that."