Former Prime Ministers Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid, together with then-Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, offered over one billion shekels to the haredi political parties in an attempt to gain their support for the State budget, according to documents uncovered by Kan News.
The funding would have included hundreds of millions of shekels for haredi educational institutions, including yeshivas where adult men study Torah. The money would have been transferred if United Torah Judaism MKs Meir Porush and Yisrael Eichler had voted for the budget.
The document that was revealed this evening by the journalist Michael Shemesh is an official document prepared by the Budget Division of the Finance Ministry and was nearly sent to MKs as a memorandum. An announcement would have been made shortly before the vote on the budget which would have said: "Prior to the approval of the said budget laws for their second and third reading, I would like to update that a few hours ago an oral agreement was reached with members of the Knesset on the manner of voting on the budget."
MKs Porush and Eichler negotiated with coalition officials at that time on the issue. The move was intended to "poke a finger in Netanyahu's eye" and show him that members of his bloc were ready to support the Bennet-Lapid government.
The office of opposition leader Yair Lapid responded: "We are not aware of any such document, and as far as we know, there was no agreement with the haredi parties on budget support in exchange for budgets."