Sa’ar Denies in Talks to Join Netanyahu-Led Government

YERUSHALAYIM

By Hamodia Staff

New Hope party leader Gideon Sa’ar leads a faction meeting at the Knesset. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar denied reports earlier on Wednesday that he has been conducting talks with Likud to join a Netanyahu-led government.

Sa’ar said in interviews on Channels 11 and 13 that “my stance hasn’t changed” on the promise he made before the last elections not to join Netanyahu.

However, Sa’ar refused three times to say explicitly that he won’t join a Netanyahu-led government.

Yediot had reported that Sa’ar, who is the justice minister in the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, is considering a renewed partnership with his former political home – the Likud – after resigning from it before the 2021 elections and following his failure to challenge Netanyahu’s leadership.

At the time, Sa’ar vowed he would not serve under Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption.

His faction is considered at risk of failing to pass the Knesset threshold should elections take place.

On Tuesday, Sa’ar made an explicit threat to the survival of the coalition, when he said all members must support an extension to the bill regulating Israeli law over Yehudah and Shomron.

The Islamist Ra’am party, also in the coalition, was expected to oppose the extension.

Should the coalition fail to extend the regulations by June 30, Israeli law for the most part will not apply to Yehudah and Shomron, which has not been officially annexed by Israel and remains under military rule.

“Without this law, Israelis would be tried through the military courts, which is something we certainly would not want,” Sa’ar said.

“Were it not for this law, security prisoners in Israeli prisons would have to be held in military prisons in Yehudah and Shomron. The police would not be authorized to investigate crimes committed by residents of Yehudah and Shomron, even if they took place in Israel.”

According to sources, in discussions with the Likud, Sa’ar will be appointed foreign minister and the members of his faction will be given senior positions in Netanyahu’s government, but insist that the Justice Ministry, currently led by Sa’ar, be under a minister from the Likud.

Sources inside the Likud said Netanyahu had instructed party members to refrain from attacks on Sa’ar or his faction.

New Hope officials deny they are considering a partnership with Netanyahu and say the Likud has made numerous overtures attempting to lure the faction to their side.

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