Hanegbi reassures Netanyahu of Kadima 'safety net'

Kadima MK says party will continue to support PM in direct talks; Israel is working on wording to allow talks to proceed.

hanegbi 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
hanegbi 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) said that the "safety net" that his party gave Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will stand as long as he remains committed to peace talks, in an interview with Israel Radio Tuesday.
"As long as there are negotiations, those who oppose Netanyahu in the coalition will not be able to bring him down," Hanegbi, who also heads the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said.
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Speaking from New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly, Hanegbi added that Israel is making a major effort to find a text that will allow the talks with the Palestinians to continue.
Earlier in the week, after Likud Minister-without-Portfolio Michael Eitan called on his personal website for a national unity government, rumors spread that Kadima may be joining the coalition.
However, a phone conversation between Netanyahu and Kadima head Tzipi Livni made it clear that the this is unlikely as long as building continues in the West Bank.
“Israel is in a very problematic situation,” Livni told Netanyahu. “You must take action to restart talks and avoid their breakdown. You must make the decisions necessary for the talks to continue. Kadima will support you if you do.”
Earlier Monday, Kadima released a statement saying that it had made it clear to Netanyahu time and time again that it supported every move that would advance the diplomatic process and bring Israel a peace deal, and opposed moves that prevented diplomatic advancement and encouraged Israel’s isolation.
“Livni has said she would be willing to have Kadima join the government if Netanyahu would display serious intentions to reach a full peace agreement and to form a different coalition that could support these intentions,” the spokesman said.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.