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Herzog: Unity government opportunity for 'dramatic change'

Opposition leader joining government now to pressure Netanyahu to make 'drastic' changes to his policies, recordings reveal.

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Is Yitzhak Herzog about to join the government?
Is Yitzhak Herzog about to join the government?
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) have actively been working on an agreement to formally freeze construction in Judea and Samaria, Channel 10 confirmed Sunday - hours after reports leaked of such an agreement. 

"I could have entered [the government] over 100 times over the past year, but I didn't because I said to myself: 'there has to be a dramatic and historic change," Herzog said. 

Herzog is heard in recordings uncovered by the daily as saying the talks are a "unique political opportunity" to force concessions, including the building freeze and forcing Israel back to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Authority (PA). 

Some reports indicate Herzog is also demanding the Foreign Ministry, from which the Zionist Union can directly oversee negotiations.

Netanyahu would gain a more stable coalition from the agreement, which would raise the number of MKs in the government from the minimum majority of 61 to 85. 

As shocking as Herzog's demand for a formal construction freeze may be for right-wing voters who supported the current government, such an agreement would in fact be a mere formality as the government has been imposing a covert and near complete freeze on building in Judea and Samaria ever since 2013.