The Israeli government's regular weekly cabinet meeting will not take place today, following disagreement between the two main parties in the unity government, Likud and Blue & White.
The Likud party said in a statement last night that the reason for the cancellation of the cabinet meeting was the refusal of Blue & White to allow an NIS 8.5 billion economic aid program for dealing with the coronavirus to be put on the agenda, designed to generate 10,000 new jobs, and including NIS 700 million in for ensuring nutrition security for poor families and NIS 600 million for extending to June 2021 the adaptation program for people aged 67 and over put on unpaid leave from work.
"The Likud demands of Blue & White that it should not thwart the transfer of money to Israel's citizens at this time when we are facing the coronavirus crisis," the Likud statement said. The economic program mentioned in the statement was put on the Prime Minister's Office website only late last night, and was unknown to ministers and to reporters before that.
Blue & White stated in response that the cabinet meeting was not taking place because of the Likud's obstinate failure to fulfil the terms of the coalition agreement and approve procedures to ensure the coalition's stability. The procedures were due to have been drafted by July 7.
"This is not the first time that the Likud has failed to abide by its commitments, and any excuse is a blatant lie to the Israeli public. Blue & White notified the Likud that any vote in connection with the coronavirus pandemic will not be delayed and will be carried out by telephone."
Meanwhile the numbers of people attending Saturday night demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to grow. An crowd estimated at 15,000 gathered near the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem to protest against Netanyahu continuing in office while on trial on corruption charges, and against his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences. Protests were also held outside Netanyahu's private home in Caesarea and in other cities in Israel. Demonstrators gathered on about 200 road bridges in Israel carrying black flags and calling on Netanyahu to resign.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 9, 2020
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