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      Netanyahu: I Never Ruled Out Bennett

      Report: Prime Minister says his alleged anti-Bennett position is in fact spin produced by Bennett himself.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 12/19/2012, 10:53 PM

      Netanyahu
      Netanyahu
      Flash 90

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has asked MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) to make clear to the religious public that he has no intention of barring the entrance of Bayit Yehudi under Naftali Bennett into his next coalition, Maariv reported Wednesday.

      Netanyahu reportedly said that he never told anyone that he intends to block Bennett and that this allegation, which appeared on Channel 10 Monday, is in fact "spin" produced by Bennett himself, in order to pull religious Likud supporters into his camp.

      He added, however, that while he sees no problem with adding the Bayit Yehudi to his coalition, he has not said that the religious Zionist party is "his preferred natural partner."

      Netanyahu reportedly asked Hotovely to convey the message that only a strong Likud will be able to rule and hold senior portfolios, especially the Defense Ministry.

      Netanyahu reportedly said that he believes religious voters would like to see Moshe Yaalon as Defense Minister.