Ayelet Shaked
Ayelet ShakedCredit: TPS/Kobi Richter

Elyashiv Amitzur, a former close assistant to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked already began a few months ago - even before the elections - to hold a campaign for her within the Likud, Amichai Itali reported in Yediot Ahronot on Friday morning.

Amitzur began his career in Shaked's office about four years ago as her driver. As time went on, their relationship deepened and he became her trusted political adviser.

About a year and a half ago, Amitzur left Shaked's office for another opportunity.. A short while later, Amitzur began holding meetings with key activists in the Likud, telling them that he had moved to the party in order to conduct a campaign for Shaked. According to the report, in recent months, even before Shaked left Bayit Yehudi and established the New Right (and even after the establishment of the party), Amitzur continued to work with Likud activists and the aides of Likud ministers and MKs, while admitting that he was preparing a campaign for Shaked.

Amitzur confirmed to Yediot Ahronot on Thursday night that he's carrying out the campaign on his own - and without coordination with Shaked. "Everyone knows I'm campaigning for Ayelet for the day after but I'm doing it on my own," he said.

"I'm in friendly contact with her, even a kind of motherly contact," Amitzur said. "She's like a big sister or a guide for me. Following the failure of the New Right, I switched tactics and I'm now saying publicly that I think this woman should be prime minister and it should happen through the Likud. I want the Likudniks themselves to appoint her. I've been all around the country for the past year and a half, and I see that the Likudniks really want her to join the Likud and see her as a leader on the day after Netanyahu."

The justice minister's office responded: "Elyashiv Amitzur stopped working with Shaked over a year ago. The justice minister will decide on her own what her next step will be."