Likud fight on freeze set for March 18

Court rules central c'tee must set date for Likud convention to elect new c'tee by end of April.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 2, 2010 13:43
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu attends the week

netanyahu cabinet good 311. (photo credit: AP)

 
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The Likud central committee will convene on March 18 for what is expected to be a highly charged debate on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to freeze West Bank settlement construction, the premier announced Tuesday.

Netanyahu had been trying to delay setting a date for the meeting since the 10-month moratorium was announced in November. But after a petition from MK Danny Danon (Likud), the Tel Aviv District Court decided last week that Netanyahu had until Tuesday to announce a date for a meeting that would take place within a month.

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In order to save the large amount of money it takes to rent a hall at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, the central committee meeting could be combined with the Likud’s annual pre-Passover toast.

The central committee will also meet this Wednesday ahead of a vote the following day on delaying the election of a new committee. That vote is so important to Netanyahu that he canceled Tuesday’s Likud faction meeting and instead will convene the party’s top activists who are loyal to him at the Knesset.

Danon will hold a rival event for central committee members who oppose delaying the election at the Knesset two hours later.

However, Netanyahu suffered a setback when the Tel Aviv District Court decided on Tuesday afternoon that the central committee would have to set a date for a Likud convention to elect a new committee by the end of April. The court ruled that the vote to change the Likud constitution in order to delay the election for the central committee, which will take place on Thursday, might not be valid. The court will reconvene after Thursday’s vote.

Nevertheless, the court decided against fining Netanyahu over his failure to implement its order that he begin the procedures necessary to elect a new central committee.

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