Elections 2009 / Netanyahu: I'll Keep the Golan Israeli, Jerusalem Undivided

Likud Chair says Kadima victory will mean Israel leaving the Golan, refuses to comment on Shalit deal.

Prime Ministerial candidate Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said only a government led by his Likud party could ensure that the Golan Heights will remain in Israeli hands and that Jerusalem will not be divided.

"Jerusalem will not be divided again and Gamla will not fall again. The Golan will stay in our hands only if the Likud is victorious. If Kadima wins, we will leave the Golan," Netanyahu said. Gamla was the historic capital of the Jewish Golan, sacked by the Romans in 68 CE.

The Likud leader's made the statements during a tree-planting ceremony in the Golan Heights, where he was joined by Likud heavyweights Moshe Ya'alon, Yossi Peled, Benny Begin and Effi Eitam.

He added that, "Anyone who wants defensible borders will vote Likud. A large Likud will defend the tree we have planted."

He also vowed that his son Avner will sit beneath the trees planted Sunday with his grandchildren.

Netanyahu refused to discuss reports that a deal to secure the release of Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit is not far off, but said the reports "may be helpful to the election campaigns of certain people, but they hurt the chances of securing Shalit's release."

Blocs based on latest Haaretz-Dialog poll:

The right-wing bloc:

Likud (headed by Benjamin Netanyahu): 27 seats Yisrael Beiteinu ("Israel is our home" - a far-right pro-transfer party headed by Avigdor Lieberman): 18 seats Shas (Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party headed by Eli Yishai): 9 seats National Union-Habayit Hayehudi (coalition between two right-wing parties, the long-standing National Union and fledgling Habayit Hayehudi [the Jewish home]): 6 seats

The left-wing bloc: Kadima (centrist party established by Ariel Sharon and now headed by Tzipi Livni): 25 seats Labor (headed by Ehud Barak and formerly Israel's dominant party): 14 seats New Movemment-Meretz (latest incarnation of the left-wing Meretz): 7 seats Hadash (Jewish-Arab party formerly known as a communist party): 3 seats United Arab List-Ta'al (a union of two predominantly Arab parties, the United Arab list and Ahmed Tibi's Ta'al): 3 seats Balad (predominantly Arab party whose name is a Hebrew acronym for National Democratic Assembly): 2 seats