Ben-Gvir Sets Conditions for Dropping Out

YERUSHALAYIM -
Otzma Yehudit
Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of the Otzma Yehudit Party, at a press conference Wednesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben Gvir has sealed his decision to stay in the election campaign as he made conditions for dropping out that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ is not expected to meet.

Ben-Gvir, who has been under great pressure from Netanyahu and his right-wing bloc to withdraw a futile candidacy that will only waste right-wing votes, said at a press conference on Tuesday evening that he would only do so if the prime minister agrees to the following conditions:

Cancelling the Oslo Accord and declaring that a Palestinian state would not be established; stopping “protection payments” to Hamas; banning mixed-gender prayer at the Kosel; reforms in the appointment of judges; ending the Jordanian custodianship over Har Habayis, and more.

Netanyahu has urged the far-right list not to run, citing polls showing it won’t clear the electoral threshold, resulting in a loss of probably two seats for the right-wing.

According to media reports on Tuesday, Netanyahu had said privately that he had given up trying to persuade Ben-Gvir to withdraw from the race.