Netanyahu and Herzog resume coalition talks?

Channel 2 News reports Prime Minister and opposition leader met this week to discuss a unity government. Both sides deny.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Netanyahu and Herzog
Netanyahu and Herzog
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has renewed his efforts to convince opposition leader MK Yitzhak Herzog, head of the Zionist Union party, to join his coalition, Channel 2 News revealed Friday.

According to the report, Netanyahu and Herzog met on Thursday in Caesarea for talks on the possibility of Zionist Union joining the coalition. Sources said that Netanyahu is not interested in seeing the Jewish Home leaving the coalition and believes that both Jewish Home and Zionist Union can work together.

Netanyahu worked hard to convince Herzog to join the coalition several months ago, but the talks on a unity government reportedly fizzled over Herzog's demand for a unilateral division of Jerusalem, among other things.

The talks appeared to be over when Netanyahu joined forces with Yisrael Beytenu and Avigdor Liberman, but Herzog later hinted that his party would reconsider joining the coalition if Netanyahu ousted the Jewish Home from the government.

Sources close to Netanyahu denied Friday’s report on a recent meeting with Herzog, and a similar denial also came from Herzog’s office.

"According to the baseless report, it is fundamentally clear that once again there are problems in the coalition," Herzog's office told Channel 2 News.

MK Amir Peretz (Zionist Union) denied the report as well, claiming that it was a spin by Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid.

"There is no chance that the Zionist Union will join Netanyahu’s government," said Peretz, adding, "It seems that this is a spin by Lapid, who is the primary beneficiary of these spins. Netanyahu can and should be replaced, and this is our goal and we will accomplish it.”

Meanwhile, Housing Minister Yoav Galant of Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party welcomed a possible unity government with Herzog’s party.

"I'm not familiar with the talks but I will be the first to welcome a broad unity government," said Galant. "I think it's good for the state of Israel and for its stability, security and economy."

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)