Chairman of the Labor-Hatnua list Yitzhak Herzog has once again refused to rule out joining a coalition led by Binyamin Netanyahu, instead insisting that he will be the one to form the next coalition government.
"The polls show a clear advantage for us," Herzog told Channel 2. "I have proven my political skills… I am able to form a coalition. I will know how to form the most stable coalition."
Herzog's unwillingness to unequivocally rule out such an eventuality will fuel recent speculation over the possibility that – despite his current denials – Netanyahu will opt for a "wide" coalition including left-wing parties.
Herzog vowed that, if elected PM, in his first 100 days as prime minister he would focus on three issues in particular: solving the housing crisis, "renewing relations with the US and the (political) process with the Palestinians."
"If need be, I will travel to Ramallah and present to the Palestinian Parliament a vision of hope," he declared.
Challenged as to his decision not to join last week's televised election debate, he responded: "I didn't come for the simple reason that these elections are about the continuation of Netanyahu's reign or his replacement."
"I am the only one who can replace Netanyahu and therefore I am prepared to face him and discuss Israel's burning issues."
Herzog and Netanyahu have been criticized for their decision not to turn up to the debate, which was hosted by Channel 2 last Thursday evening.