Martin Indyk
Martin IndykFlash 90

Former US Special Envoy for Israeli–Palestinian Negotiations Martin Indyk dismissed claims by Likud faction chairman Miki Zohar that the Likud was "heading for the opposition" after its failure to secure a right-wing majority on the Knesset Arrangements Committee.

"I'll believe it when Bibi says it. Perhaps I'm too cynical but with some two weeks to go before Netanyahu has to hand back the mandate, it sounds more like spin designed to put pressure on Saar, Smotrich etc than an admission of defeat," Indyk wrote on Twitter.

During a discussion in the Knesset plenum, MK Miki Zohar declared: "I have been in the Knesset for six years, I spent all of them in the coalition. If necessary, we will go with respect and with our heads held high to the opposition. Apparently, the opposition chairman will be Binyamin Netanyahu. Believe me - you won't have it easy with me if I am in opposition."

Zohar's statement came after Mansour Abbas' United Arab List entered the Knesset plenum at the last minute and refused to support the Likud's proposal for the composition of the Arrangements Committee. The committee will be controlled by a bloc of Netanyahu's opponents as a result.

Earlier, the Yamina and Likud parties reached a last-minute agreement on the composition of the committee which will ensure the committee has a right-wing majority.

According to the agreement, Yamina will vote on the proposal which will ensure one representative in the committee for every five MKs. In return the Likud would transfer one representative from its quota in the committee to Yamina, so that Bennett's party would be represented by two committee members.