No longer on speaking terms: Aryeh Deri (r.) and MK Moshe Gafni
No longer on speaking terms: Aryeh Deri (r.) and MK Moshe Gafni Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The head of the Degel HaTorah party (a component faction of United Torah Judaism), MK Moshe Gafni, is no longer on speaking terms with Shas party head Aryeh Deri, according to a senior official in UTJ who spoke with Israel National News.

Gafni is "furious with Deri," according to the source, due to Gafni's belief that it is Deri who was behind briefings against Gafni concerning his connections with Prime Minister Yair Lapid.

UTJ is apparently also taken aback by recent boasts on the part of Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar, who is claiming that he has excellent ties to haredi politicians. "We haven't spoken with Sa'ar for over a month," the source said. "In fact, our representatives have cut off all ties to him, and are very angry with him," a statement which was independently confirmed by Israel National News.

Part of the reason for the anger felt toward Sa'ar is due to his and his fellow party member Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton's intervention in the issue of haredi education with regard to the "Belz outline" that almost caused UTJ to split, a rift that was averted at the eleventh hour and that could have proven catastrophic for the entire right-wing bloc.

"Gantz is great, but not for being given the opportunity to try to form a coalition - there's no chance he could succeed there," the source told Israel National News. "But we have good connections with his office staff on various communal issues, something that cannot be said of Gideon Sa'ar."

Asked to comment on the possibility that a party other than the Likud will succeed in forming the next government, the source insisted that whatever the outcome of the elections, the alliance between religious and traditionally minded parties would hold strong. "We will go together either into the next government or into the opposition," he said.