MK Moshe Gafni, who heads Ashkenazic-haredi United Torah Judaism, and MK Aryeh Deri, who heads Sephardic-haredi Shas, disagreed just minutes before sundown on Friday.
The two parties generally work hand-in-hand in the Knesset; if one party joins a coalition, the other party joins as well, and they sit in the opposition together also.
Speaking on Channel 12 News, Deri claimed that Gafni is trying to woo Prime Minister Yair Lapid of Yesh Atid, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz of Blue and White.
Gafni's office responded, "There is no wooing by Gafni of Lapid and Gantz. We will go with the Likud and with [MK Benjamin] Netanyahu. Deri's hints on the matter have no basis in reality."
Minutes after Gafni's announcement, Deri's office said, "Shas chief Aryeh Deri did not say even a single hint that Gafni will form a government with Gantz and Lapid. The opposite is true: Shas chief Deri, in all of his recent interviews, was forced to answer questions by journalists regarding the actions and statements of Moshe Gafni."
"Following this, Deri clarified that Shas and the haredim will only support Netanyahu for prime minister. We are happy that finally there has been a clear announcement by Gafni that they will go with the Likud and Netanyahu."
The spat began after Deri told Channel 12, "We need to put things in their place. I am not Gafni's spokesman, but he also is not the spokesman of all of haredi Judaism. UTJ is made of two parties, and Gafni represents only one part."
When asked if there would be a government headed by Gantz, Deri said, "No. Lapid is the head of the largest party, he is the prime minister. Gantz and [Justice Minister Gideon] Sa'ar (New Hope) cannot make a change - for that they would need to bring in the Likud and the haredim. Why should they let Gantz be prime minister? Why should the Likud, the largest party, not form the government?"