Oren Hazan to run for Knesset with the Tzomet party

Likud MK resurrects right-wing Tzomet faction, homes to return to Knesset after being given seat at bottom of Likud list.

David Rosenberg ,

Oren Hazan
Oren Hazan
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Likud MK Oren Hazan has joined the defunct Tzomet party, just days before the deadline for Knesset list submissions for the upcoming legislative election.

Hazan, a controversial figure within the Likud, won the 30th spot on the party’s list for the 2015 election, winning a seat that year when the Likud received 30 mandates.

Earlier this month, however, the 37-year-old Ariel resident failed to receive a realistic spot on the Likud’s list for this April’s election, prompting Hazan to seek an alternative path to the Knesset.

Days after he failed to receive a realistic spot on the Likud list, Hazan reached out to the Otzma Yehudit party, hoping for a place on the right-wing faction’s list.

Later, however, Hazan vowed to form a new faction and run at its helm.

On Sunday, Hazan live-streamed an address to supporters on his Facebook page, calling for backers to help him choose the name of his new faction.

With less than four days left to submit party lists, Hazan said he remained open to the possibility of running on a joint ticket with another faction, but said he was prepared for an independent run with his new party.

On Monday, however, aides to Hazan said the lawmaker would run at the helm of the defunct ‘Tzomet’ (Junction) party.

Founded by former IDF Chief of Staff Rafael ‘Rafi’ Eitan in 1983, Tzomet was a secular right-wing party which ran on a joint list with the Tehiya party in 1984. In 1988, Tzomet ran independent of Tehiya, winning two mandates. The party surged to eight seats in 1992, but later split when three MKs bolted to form the Yiud party, allowing them to join the new Rabin government.

The party went into decline following the split, and by 1996 was forced to run on a joint ticket with the Likud. Tzomet failed to win representation in the 1999 elections, but continued to run through the 2009 elections.