Netanyahu advisers deny working on new party

Likud faction chairman Ze'ev Elkin says reports that PM planning a party split over internal elections are "delusional."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 23, 2012 16:23
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu with likud background 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Close advisers to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied reports on Thursday that he was actively working on forming a new political party.

Netanyahu threatened recently that if the Likud central committee votes to give itself the right to elect the party's MKs he would form a "new Likud."  But reports Thursday indicated that he had taken his plans to a new level.

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Army Radio reported that Netanyahu's lawyer David Shimron was working on what would be called the National Security Party and could include Defense Minister Ehud Barak, former Kadima ministers Avi Dichter and Tzahi Hanegbi and possibly even former Bank Leumi chairwoman Galia Maor.

The Likud released a statement calling the report mistaken and faction chairman Ze'ev Elkin called it delusional.

"There won't be splits or reserved slots," Elkin said. "There will be a strong Likud under the prime minister."

A senior Netanyahu adviser said "I haven't heard about it and if I haven't heard then it's not happening."

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