Likud Denies It Offered Yesh Atid Evictions of Jews

Sources in Yesh Atid told Maariv Likud promised to tear down Jewish communities in coalition deal.

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Gil Ronen,

The Disengagement from Gaza
The Disengagement from Gaza
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Sources in Yesh Atid told Maariv's Ze'ev Kam that Likud promised the party's representatives to tear down Jewish communities in Israel's Biblical heartland if Yesh Atid joins its coalition independently of Bayit Yehudi.

The Likud negotiators reportedly gave "a promise that the next government would act forcefully to tear down isolated communities in Judea and Samaria." However, they said, Yesh Atid would have to abandon its pact with Bayit Yehudi and join the government without the religious Zionist party.

Likud denied the report.

"It's a complete lie," Likud sources were quoted as telling Maariv. "It never happened. No excuse can explain why the Bayit Yehudi has refrained thus far from joining a government with a majority for the nationalist camp. This contradicts what they promised their voters – that they would strengthen Likud from the right."

If the report is true, it would confirm Bayit Yehudi's contention, that Likud wants a coalition with leftists and hareidim, and only the agreement between Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi not to enter a coalition independently is preventing that from happening.

The report is also carried by Yediot Aharonot, which quotes "elements involved in the negotiations" as saying that the deal was placed on the table in Thursday's meeting between the ruling Likud and Yesh Atid, a leftist-centrist party headed by Yair Lapid, a former television anchorman and columnist for Yediot.

"You need to give up Bennett, because otherwise we will not be able to advance a diplomatic process and evict communities," the negotiators reportedly said.