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Gideon Sa'ar resigns from Likud, will run against prime minister

Sa'ar's party, New Hope, could attract loyal Likud members threatening stability of the party

Knesset Member Gideon Sa'ar (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Knesset Member Gideon Sa'ar announced tonight he will resign from the Likud party and form his own party to run against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the upcoming elections.

Sa’ar’s new party will be called Tikva Hadasha, New Hope.

Likud has become a “tool for the personal interests of the person in charge,” and “a cult of personality” around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sa'ar said in a scathing announcement during prime time on Tuesday evening.

“Likud has changed its character dramatically in recent years. I can no longer support the Netanyahu-led government and be a member of Likud. Today Israel needs unity and stability — Netanyahu cannot offer either. Replacing Netanyahu is the order of the hour.”

Channel 12 has floated a few names in connection with the new party including Gabi Eisenkot, a general in the Israeli Defense Forces and former chief of staff is one of them.

Another is Likud's Yifat Shasha-Biton, chairwoman of the coronavirus committee and an outspoken critic of the government’s policies on the pandemic.

A rightwinger, Sa'ar said he would unite the Israeli people.

“I know Israel’s security and social challenges,” he said. “I can unite Israel and shape it for the future.”

Likud called Sa'ar a sore loser because he was beaten by Netanyahu for party leadership.

“Sa’ar decided to abandon the right, join [Opposition Leader Yair] Lapid and a long list of politicians who abandoned Likud and then completely crashed,” Likud said in a statement.

Lapid hailed Sa’ar's decision for leaving Likud to form his own party.

“We have different opinions on many issues but Israeli politics needs decent and caring people that don’t submit to rulership or corruption,” Lapid said on Twitter.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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