Likud chairman, Tzachi Hanegbi, left the Likud party in order to join the Kadima party, which was formed by the Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, who split from the Likud.
Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that the departure of Habegbi has stunned several members of the Likud party and created an atmosphere of despondency and crises.
The paper added that senior Likud figures fear the departure of ruling party Chairman Tzachi Hanegbi marks the latest blow on the way to the Likud’s complete disintegration.
A senior Likud party leader said that the Likud was starting to recover after Sharon split from it and formed his new party, and then it was hit again by the departure of Hanegbi, who is considered on of the senior party leaders.
“There is a feeling that the ship is sinking”, the leader said, “everybody is running away from it”.
Another senior Likud leader said that if a poll is conducted now, the Likud “in a day like this would only get five seats”.
The departure of Hanegbi from the Likud leaves it with only five government ministers, after seven others have already left the Likud and joined Kadima.
Senior Likud figures have already started trading verbal blows in an effort to pin the blame for the Likud’s difficult position on party rivals, Yedioth Ahronoth reported,
Also, Sylvan Shalom, the Israeli Foreign Minister, said that radical elements in the Likud are pushing away the Likud voters.
The Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, slammed “radical members: in the party and said that they are pushing the voter into “the arms of other parties”.
The only optimistic view was expressed by Benjamin Netanyahu who said that the Likud is actually gaining power.
“We have excellent people and we’ll present an excellent team,” Netanyahu said. “I’m convinced the public will return to us. The Likud is not disintegrating. It’s alive and well and is moving up”
Committee member, Momi Ohayon, said on Wednesday that he is confused by the Likud, and the situation it is facing.