Likud Sources: Bibi Wants Bennett in Coalition

Senior sources: tension between Netanyahu and Bennett will not keep Bayit Yehudi out of government.

Gil Ronen,

Naftali Bennett
Naftali Bennett
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Senior elements in Likud said Sunday that the tension between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett will not prevent Bayit Yehudi from joining Netanyahu's next coalition.

"Despite the campaign of personal mudslinging," the sources said, "the Prime Minister will continue to act in accordance with the relevant considerations, and he intends to establish the largest government possible."

"This coalition will include the Bayit Yehudi," the sources added. "This will be a particularly wide government, in view of the threats against the State of Israel."

Relations between Netanyahu and Bennett have been sour ever since Bennett resigned as Netanyahu's chief of staff, a position Netanyahu accepted him into shortly after the Second Lebanon War. There are unverified reports that relations between Bennett and Sarah Netanyahu were bad. Bennett has joked that he and Sarah Netanyahu were on a "terrorism course" together.