Ramat Hanegev council head Rifman to join Kadima

Shmuel Rifman, long-time Negev activist and head of the Ramat Hanegev local council, announced on Monday that he was joining Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's new party, Kadima. Rifman said that so far, 15 local council heads, from the Galil to the Negev, had told him they intended to join Kadima. Rifman said that Kadima would consider creating a joint council of kibbutzim and moshavs, Israel Radio reported. Rifman, a close associated of Vice Premier Shimon Peres, also said that he had spoken to Peres on Monday morning, and that the octogenarian indicated an inclination to leave Labor and join Kadima.