A Likud court decided Thursday to delay a convention that was expected to feature a battle for party control between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the head of the Likud central committee, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.
The convention had been set for next Monday and Tuesday, but the court decided it could not take place until an investigation into who is legally permitted to vote takes place. The Likud’s internal comptroller, attorney Shai Galili, accused the party’s administration of illegally permitting political allies into the voting body.
Had the convention taken place Monday, it could have caused problems for Netanyahu. The fourth round of Palestinian prisoner releases may take place on Monday night, and the prime minister would have had to address the hawks at the convention.
The new date for the convention is set for late May.
But Likud activists said they would not be surprised if Netanyahu tried to postpone the event further.
The central committee members will vote at the convention on diplomatic, socioeconomic and internal party issues. Netanyahu and Danon are expected to present an agenda for the convention’s schedule, and the central committee members will decide by secret ballot which one to adopt.
Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika, one of the party’s most powerful hawks, met with Netanyahu Wednesday and called Danon Thursday to try and mediate between them.
“The party must unite in order to defend the interests of the State of Israel,” Mesika said.