Shai Malka with MK Moshe Feiglin
Shai Malka with MK Moshe Feiglin Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Shai Malka, the director-general of the Manhigut Yehudit faction (lit. Jewish Leadership) in the Likud, which is headed by MK Moshe Feiglin, announced on Thursday that he will run in the Likud party’s primaries and compete for a spot on the party’s list for the 20th Knesset.

Malka has been Feiglin’s parliamentary advisor over the past two years and is considered one of Feiglin’s closest associates.

"I have no doubt that this is an important decision, being an MK carries with it great responsibility," Malka said on Thursday evening, adding, "I only pray that G-d will give me the strength to succeed and faithfully serve the people of Israel.”

Earlier on Thursday, Feiglin announced he would not contend for the Likud’s leadership, but would still contend for a Knesset seat.

Feiglin’s decision was due to procedural changes in the Likud primaries, after on Wednesday, an internal Likud panel ruled that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could “reunite” the party's primaries, holding the election for the Knesset list and the election for the Likud's top slot on the same day, instead of separately as many MKs wanted.

With that, MK Danny Danon said that he still intended to run for the party's leadership.

“On December 31, Likud members will meet and decide if the movement will return to its place of leadership - of the right, of values, of democratic tradition. These are the things that differentiate the Likud from other parties,” said Danon.