Jerusalem24 – The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported today, that there are differences between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his Defense Minister Benny Gantz, due to the first revealing of a secret operation that took place to discover the fate and whereabouts of Lt. Col. Ron Arad, who went missing in southern Lebanon in 1986.
According to the newspaper, the disclosure of the operation led to an escalation of differences and confrontation between Bennett and Gantz, while sources from the government coalition described the relationship between the two sides as “charged.”
According to the same sources, Bennett’s speech in the Knesset a few days ago in which he revealed the operation took place without consulting Gantz, who believed that the disclosure of the information was a mistake, but did not have a chance to dissuade Bennett from his intention.
Some political sources attributed to Gantz the responsibility for leaking news to the Israeli press after the speech that the operation was not successful. .
The newspaper indicates that since the start of talks to form a government, there has been great tension between Gantz and his partners, against the background of the dissatisfaction he expressed with his position in the coalition.
Gantz, who rejected the proposal to form a government again with Benjamin Netanyahu, believes that his party’s negotiating position should give him an advantage in the negotiations, given that if a new government had not been formed, and if no other elections had taken place, he would have become the next prime minister in November.
While Gantz publicly denies that he is disappointed with the political position he has taken, other events that occurred in the past month indicate a deterioration in relations between him and Bennett and Lapid. This anger is demonstrated by his revealed intention to call Aviv Kohavi, his army chief, about meetings. The meeting was held by the commander of the Israeli Military Southern Command, Eliezer Toledano, and Bennett’s political advisor, Shimrit Meir, without coordination with him.
According to Israeli political sources, another confrontation was recorded between Gantz and Bennett, against the background of a statement issued this week by the latter’s office regarding the decision of the Ministerial Committee to deal with crime in the Arab Sector, which referred to the participation of the Israeli army in these activities, without the approval of his office or without the presence of a representative of the army.
A close confidant of Bennett said, “Gantz and those around him went crazy over this statement.”
The newspaper pointed out that these differences were not the only ones between Gantz and Bennett or Lapid, while an official in the Israeli government coalition described them as routine disagreements within the framework of the government’s work.
While a source in Bennett’s office accuses Gantz of acting like a prime minister in a second government, Gantz’s office denies that there are differences, that there is always close cooperation, and that what is being raised are just rumors.