Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter announced Sunday that he was joining the Likud party ahead of the upcoming general elections, following a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"I accepted the prime minister's call for me to join the Likud out if a deep conviction that I will know how to faithfully represent its members and voters," Dichter stated. "Likud is the only movement at this time that can maintain and ensure Israel's security, social and economic interests."



During his meeting with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Office, Dichter emphasized his commitment to continue in the Likud his decades-long service to the public and to the state's security.

Dichter left Kadima in August when he quit the Knesset and joined the cabinet. He has run for Kadima chairman twice and has never been a member of another political party. He called his move to Likud "most natural."

It will be tough for Dichter to get elected because, according to the party’s current rules, the 27 Likud MKs must compete for the first 19 slots on the party’s Knesset slate. The next dozen slots are reserved for new candidates representing regions and sectors. Netanyahu has repeatedly promised not to reserve spots for specific candidates on the Likud list.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report


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