JERUSALEM (JTA) — Seven Kadima members are breaking away to join former party leader Tzipi Livni in her new Hatnuah party.
The move was approved Monday night by the Knesset House Committee.
The defectors will take with them to the new party more than $1 million in public election funding. Kadima, however, has called on the seven to shoulder their share of the party’s debt of nearly $10 million.
The Kadima members joining Hatnuah are Meir Sheetrit, Yoel Hasson, Rachel Adatto, Shlomo Molla, Orit Zuaretz, Majali Wahabi and Robert Tiviaev. Former Labor Party chairman Amram Mitzna also is on board and reportedly will be given the No. 2 spot on the party’s Knesset list behind Livni, who reportedly is in talks with Maj. Gen. (res.) Elazar Stern and Israeli journalist Yoaz Hendel to join Hatnuah.
Livni announced on Nov. 27 that she would reenter politics at the head of her own party called Hatnua, or The Movement.
She became the Kadima chief in a primary vote in September 2008, then lost the chairmanship to Shaul Mofaz during primaries last March. In May, Livni said she would resign from the Knesset but remain a member of Kadima.