Likud, Kadima deny unity proposal

Alleged report named Livni head of Palestinian negotiation team.

Livni close up 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Livni close up 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Spokesmen for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni vigorously denied a report in Ma’ariv on Thursday that the Prime Minister’s Office had given Kadima a detailed proposal for joining the coalition.
The report said that Netanyahu’s bureau chief Natan Eshel offered a top Kadima figure a deal that included naming Livni to head the negotiating team with the Palestinians. Many Kadima ministers would be appointed according to the deal but no existing coalition party would leave.
Netanyahu rep. : "Report is baseless"
“There is no such document and the report is baseless,” said Netanyahu’s strategic adviser Shaya Segal, who was mentioned in the article as being aware of the offer. “People on each side talk every once in a while, but there are no negotiations, certainly not any that were authorized.”
Livni’s spokesman Gil Messing said there was no document and no offer, and that as Livni has said publicly and privately, Kadima could only join if there would be significant changes in the coalition’s makeup and its policies.
Kadima faction chair Dalia Itzik also said she was unaware of such a document or such an offer. She suggested that the report was leaked by the Likud in an effort to keep Labor in the coalition.
Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) concluded that “what is correct is that even offers like these would still be rejected by Tzipi.”
A Ma’agar Mohot poll of 544 Likud members sponsored by the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip surprisingly found that they are evenly split about the prospects of Kadima joining the coalition.