Netanyahu, Gantz bicker over aid plan that defense minister calls ‘vote-buying’

Another day, another cabinet quarrel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz are clashing again as the coronavirus cabinet reconvenes to discuss when and how to roll back some lockdown restrictions, as well as a Likud-led proposal for financial aid to businesses.

Netanyahu remains in favor of continuing the closure of many businesses until next week, while Gantz wants to immediately start easing some restrictions. But the two sides appear to be chiefly concerned with attacking each other.

According to media reports based on leaks from the meeting, Netanyahu is accusing Gantz of preventing the handout plan from moving ahead.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz attend a graduation ceremony for new Air Force pilots at the Hatzerim air base near Beersheba, June 25, 2020. (Ariel Schalit/ Pool/AFP)

“We need to open carefully,” Netanyahu is reported to tell Gantz and his Blue and White party. “When there are financial problems, the answer is not to open but rather the financial plan, but you are stopping it.”

Gantz is said to retort: “We are not stopping a financial plan, we are stopping vote-buying.”

He accuses Netanyahu of “playing with the data according to your needs.”

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