The House Committee approved on Monday a request by seven Knesset members to split from Kadima
and join Tzipi Livni's Ha'tnua faction.
Six committee members voted in favor of the split, four opposed and Committee Chairman Yariv Levin abstained.
"It is not easy for us to leave Kadima, but Kadima's voters wanted Livni, and they want her now as well," said MK Yoel Hasson, one of the seven lawmakers who are joining Ha'Tnua.
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The other MKs who signed the request to leave Kadima are Orit Zuaretz, Robert Tiviaev, Rachel Adatto, Majallie Whbee, Shlomo Molla and Meir Meir Sheetrit.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who took part in the House Committee's deliberations, said "the law determined that seven people can form their own faction. The numerical condition is the only one."
Legal Advisor Eyal Yinon did not object to the group's request to leave Kadima. "The legislator recognized that it would not be right to 'imprison' Knesset members in a faction they no longer wish to belong to," he said.
Livni headed Kadima until MK Shaul Mofaz
defeated her in the party primaries.
The House Committee also approved Knesset Member Talab El-Sana's request to split from the United Arab List-Ta'al
party. El-Sana said he would run for the 19th Knesset as an independent candidate.
Knesset Member Chaim Amsellem's request to split from the Shas
party was also approved Monday. Amsellem recently founded the Am Shalem party.
Also on Monday, MK Anastassia Michaeli
of Yisrael Beiteinu announced on her Facebook page she would not be running in the upcoming Knesset elections for personal reasons.
Michaeli realized she would not be able to secure a realistic spot on the joint Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list.
Moran Azulay is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent
Yuval Karni contributed to the report