Herzog, Netanyahu
Herzog, Netanyahu Flash 90

Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog continued to insist on Saturday that he will not join a coalition headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"Immediately after the election I said that we were going to the opposition. This is not by default, it is our preference,” Herzog said at a cultural event in Tel Aviv.

"I have no talks or contacts of any kind with Netanyahu and his people," he continued. "There was no meeting nor were there any talks with envoys. There were inquiries on behalf of Netanyahu a few days after the election, which I outright rejected. Netanyahu wants a narrow right-wing government that will lead us to dangerous places."

Herzog’s comments come amid continued speculation that he is planning to join Netanyahu’s coalition.

Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett recently warned that Netanyahu was likely to choose Herzog over Jewish Home, and noted his willingness to work from the opposition should that happen. 

Herzog later dismissed Bennett's comments and stressed that his party would be the "fighting opposition" in the 20th Knesset.

"The rest is spin," Herzog emphasized. "If someone wants to know what my intentions, and that of our party, are, he is invited to ask and listen to what I have to say.  

Adding fuel to the fire of the reported contacts between Likud and Labor is the Likud's threat from last week that it would turn to Herzog should Bennett not withdraw his high demands such as the Foreign Ministry. 

There have also been reports that President Reuven Rivlin is working behind the scenes towards the formation of a unity government and has been saying in private conversations that “we need to have the broadest possible government”.

The president reportedly spoke about the issue with Netanyahu before the official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at Yad Vashem last Wednesday, and is also in contact with Herzog to persuade him to join a Likud-led government.

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