Barak has been under increasing pressure this week by members of his faction. He asked Netanyahu to rule that the lands would not be sold but rather leased for generations, in order to allow the State to remain the official owner, and demanded a reduction in the number of lands offered for sale from 4% to only 2% (99,000 acres instead of 198,000 acres).
The matter was discussed on Wednesday during a stormy Labor faction meeting, which led Barak to realize that he has no majority to back the coalition on this move, including among his supporters within the faction.
The Labor chairman was eventually authorized to hold negotiations with the prime minister on the matter and demand a change to the two clauses in the planned reform.
According to Barak's associates, Netanyahu's response will not lead to a crisis and the talks with the prime minister will continue in the coming days.
"This is not the end of it, and it's too early to talk about a deadlock," said a source close to the defense minister. If Netanyahu continues to insist on the matter, however, this may lead to a clash with the Labor Party.
The ILA reform will be brought to the Knesset for a second and third reading on Monday as part of a special hiatus session. Netanyahu has threatened to fire ministers and deputy ministers who will fail to vote with the coalition.