Almost a year and a half after leaving politics, former Interior Minister and senior Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar may be mulling a return to politics, by forming his own new party.
Sa'ar has been quietly researching the idea for months, top political sources told Channel 10 news late Sunday - and if he does announce a new party, he intends to inform Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu long before the next Likud primaries.
Analysts have predicted that Netanyahu will hold early primaries sooner, rather than later, in order to thwart possible threats to Likud leadership such as Sa'ar.
Sa’ar, who last year unexpectedly announced he was leaving politics, continues to enjoy popularity among members of the Likud. In fact, a recent poll indicated that Sa'ar is the only politician in Israel who could really pose a threat to Netanyahu's leadership. He considered contending for the leadership of the Likud party before the last election, but ultimately announced he would not do so.
Sa'ar has reportedly turned to the moderate-right to build his new party, including a former journalist and a former IDF chief of staff.
If true, Sa'ar would be the latest of several high-profile Likudnik to break away from the powerhouse party, which won 30 seats in the Knesset during the 2015 elections.
Kulanu party head Moshe Kahlon made his name as Likud's Communications Minister, before similarly taking a break from politics and making a comeback during the last election campaign under a new, center-right ticket.
Earlier this year, Manhigut Yehudit faction leader Moshe Feiglin, who placed #36 on the Likud list, announced he would break away and turn the faction into a separate party for the next elections: the "Zehut," or Identity, party. In a surprise move, he announced that the party would focus upon a Tel Aviv, libertarian voter base - not Judea-Samaria, as expected.