Likud and Yamina trade barbs after two MKs from the latter party voted for a no-confidence motion in Prime Minister Netanyahu that would have seen him replaced by Opposition Leader Yair Lapid, who heads the centrist Yesh Atid party.
Yamina chief Naftali Bennett and MK Matan Kahana both voted in favor the motion, which was voted down in the plenum.
“A conniver stays a conniver. Bennett decided this evening to finally quit the right-wing bloc and recommend Yair Lapid,” Likud says in a statement.
Defending its vote, Yamina says Bennett and Kahana were voting to topple the government, not to back Lapid.
“Every novice knows that there was no chance to crown Lapid as prime minister,” the party says in a statement. “We suggest the Likud Knesset members deal with eradicating the coronavirus and restoring the livelihood [of Israelis] and not more C-class spins.”
The back-and-forth comes as recent polls have shown Yamina gaining on Likud, amid discontent over Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic.