Likud Source Confirms Unity Talks

YERUSHALAYIM -

Secret talks between the Likud and Zionist Camp aimed at forming a unity government have been taking place in recent weeks, according to a Haaretz report quoting a “knowledgeable” source in the Likud upper echelons.

Herzog’s office denied the reports and reiterated that his sole objective is to replace the Netanyahu government.

But according to the report, Netanyahu will make Yitzhak Herzog foreign minister and chief negotiator with the Palestinians, if he will bring his party into the coalition.

For its part, Herzog’s Zionist Camp would have to accept the current government’s nationalist guidelines, and that the right-wing Jewish Home party would remain in the coalition as well.

That latter condition might be less of an obstacle, considering the possibility that Jewish Home will leave the coalition in protest of the inclusion of the leftist party, as many Likud officials reportedly believe it will.

The source also noted that Herzog had been seriously considering the unity offer when news of a corruption case against him broke, scuppering the talks. Now that the prospects of prosecution have diminished, consideration of a unity deal has again come to the fore.