Benny Gantz
Benny GantzHadas Parush/Flash 90

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz recently approached former Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Yoram Cohen and suggested that he run for the Knesset with Gantz as part of a new party that Gantz is planning to form, Channel 10 News reported on Tuesday.

Gantz is believed to have already decided that he will run for the Knesset in the next election but has yet to decide whether to form a new party or join one of the existing parties.

Zionist Union MK Shelly Yechimovich recently called on Gantz to join the Zionist Union, saying the alliance between Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay and Tzipi Livni shows “that we are a big camp and I'm sure Livni will vacate the second spot on the list for him.”

Journalist Ben Caspit reported in June in the Maariv newspaper that Gabbay was pressuring the former Chief of Staff to join the Zionist Union, which is an alliance between the Labor party and Livni’s Hatnua party.

According to the report, the two agreed that Gantz will join the Zionist Union as the party's candidate for Prime Minister, while Gabbay will continue as party chairman and its number one on the Knesset list. The two also reportedly agreed that if the party wins the elections and Gantz forms a government, Gabbay will be the senior minister in that government. If not, Gantz will step down and Gabbay will continue to lead the Labor party until the primaries.

"Gantz had already made the decision to go into politics, and despite a long secret affair with the emissaries of the Netanyahu family from Balfour, he decided not to join the Likud," wrote Caspit.

"If this agreement is between him and Gabbay is indeed finalized, he will be eligible to serve as Prime Minister four years after completing his term as Chief of Staff. It is possible that the two have already agreed in principle, but left the final decision to a more advanced stage," he added.

Gabbay later denied the report and said that, while he would welcome Gantz to the Labor party if he chooses to join, he intends to serve as Prime Minister.