Netanyahu vows to stand by right-wing allies

'Likud never offered Blue & White rotational government. I won't abandon right-wing allies,' says PM, amid rumors of planned unity gov't.

Hezki Baruch ,

Flash 90

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied recent reports regarding alleged talks between the Likud party and the center-left Blue and White party to form a unity government.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu rejected the reports, saying his Likud party had not been in negotiations with the Blue and White party, and had not offered to form a unity government with a power-sharing arrangement to rotate the premiership between the two parties.

“I respect and value Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein,” said Netanyahu, after Edelstein called for efforts to form a new government and cancel the new elections planned for this September.

“His initiative seeks to prevent another round of elections in Israel,” Netanyahu continued. “The Knesset Speaker asked to meet with me in the coming days, and I will do so.”

The Prime Minister pushed back on claims that his caretaker government had been in talks with the Blue and White party for the formation of a unity government with the premiership rotating between the two parties.

“All the rest is spin. At no point was rotation offered, and up to this point, there has been no contact between the Likud and Blue and White, and I have absolutely no intention of abandoning my natural allies for a right-wing government.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Likud MK Miki Zohar told Reshet Bet that recent reports claiming the Likud had offered the Blue and White party a power-sharing rotational arrangement for the premiership were false.

“Blue and White was never offered a rotational arrangement; it is nothing more than their spin, I guess.”

But MK Zohar said the Likud would consider any arrangement which would prevent new elections.

“Right now we aren’t ruling out anything which would prevent these elections. We need to consider everything; but whether there will be a rotational arrangement, I don’t know.”

Earlier this week, Blue and White officials claimed that on the eve of the dissolution of the Knesset, in the midst of the final attempts to form a government, Netanyahu suggested that they join a unity government which would included rotation of the premiership – a claim the Likud quickly denied.