Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz has asked the Knesset's House Committee to approve a request to oust four Kadima Knesset members from the party, after they tried to leave the party as a group and join the coalition. The four MKs are Avi Duan, Otniel Schneller, Aryeh Bibi and Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich.
At the same time, Mofaz also hinted that he opposes a military strike against Iran and that such a strike is imminent.
He referred cryptically to "operational adventures that will endanger the future of our sons and daughters" that the MKs wishing to join the government were trying to support. Voice of Israel's political analyst Hanan Kristal said that he is completely sure that Mofaz was referring to a planned strike against Iran. IDF Radio also understood the phrase as referring to an Iran strike.
If the MKs are ejected from Kadima, they will not be allowed to take part in Knesset debates and votes, other than no-confidence motions. If they wish to be elected to the next Knesset, they will have to resign from the current one.
Mofaz convened the press conference at 12:15 p.m. and announced that the MKs who had tried to split from Kadima had been involved in "negotiations for political bribe."
"Whoever wants to join the corruption, let him go," he said. "Whoever wants a political bribe, a subordinate job in a puffed up government -- let him go, we have no wish for him to stay. We do not hold him by force."
Mofaz vowed that "Kadima will torpedo Bibi's Tal Law 2" – a reference to the government's proposal for enlisting hareidim to the military and national service, which Mofaz sees as not going far enough.