Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday summoned Religious Zionist chairman Betzalel Smotrich and Otzma Yehudit chairman Itamar Ben-Gvir for a meeting in Caesarea.
The move followed an ominous poll showing that a separate run of the two parties could result in Religious Zionism failing to pass the threshold, which could lead to tens of thousands of right-wing votes being discarded.
Ben-Gvir had announced last week that his party will be running independently in the next election instead of merging with Smotrich’s Religious Zionism party.
Following the meeting, a joint statement by the two parties stated: “The Religious Zionism and Otzma Yehudit parties have reached an agreement regarding a joint run for the 25th Knesset. MKs Smotrich and Ben-Gvir welcomed the agreement that will facilitate the victory of the national camp and bring a stable national government to Israel.”
According to the agreement, Smotrich will head the list and each party will have five candidates in the ten slots.
A note in the ballot box will read “Religious Zionism led by Smotrich and Otzma Yehudit led by Ben-Gvir.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)