Rabbi Gershon Edelstein
Rabbi Gershon Edelstein Aharon Krohn/Flash90

Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, a leading Lithuanian-haredi rabbi, instructed MKs from United Torah Judaism's "Degel Hatorah" faction not to agree to commit to allowing Belz hasidic schools to join the haredi school system - even if there is no right-religious government, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

United Torah Judaism is a joint list comprised of the Lithuanian-haredi Degel Hatorah and the hasidic Agudat Yisrael factions. The two factions have run for several years as a single list but recent disagreements have brought their continued cooperation into question.

One of the key disagreements between the two factions centers on whether the Belz hasidic schools will be able to found their own independent haredi school system.

According to sources in Agudat Yisrael, if Likud and MK Benjamin Netanyahu win 61 Knesset seats and form a government, the budget for the Belz schools will be created by means of an organized plan. At the same time, if the Likud does not form a government, the independent haredi school system was requested to allow Belz schools to join their network.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, Rabbi Edelstein's opposition to such a move is clear and unambiguous. For this reason, the offer which had been placed on the table has been removed.

At the same time, the Belz hasidim are not willing to ask their rebbe for advice without bringing with them an offer of compromise. As such, the negotiations which until now had seemed to be progressing have therefore been cut short.

If the two parties do not reach an agreement on a joint run, there is a likelihood that neither will pass the electoral threshold.