Netanyahu won’t run for prime minister

Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Ttoday that he would not run in an election for prime minister until the parliament agrees to go to the voters as well.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, voted earlier today against dissolving itself, 68-48. The lawmakers approved another bill to permit Netanyahu to run. The bill was necessary because he is not a Knesset member.

But the former prime minister insisted he would not take up the challenge without general elections as well.

"Because the Knesset didn’t have the courage to answer the will of the public and put itself up for new elections, I decided to fulfill my promise," Netanyahu said in a statement. "I will consider running once the Knesset disperses itself."

The decision meant Prime Minister Ehud Barak will face the leader of the opposition Likud party, Ariel Sharon, in Feb. 6 elections. Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres is seriously considering running as well, Israel radio reported Tuesday. The winner will form a coalition in the Knesset as its makeup stands now.

Netanyahu could re-enter the political scene if the Knesset — where Barak does not have a majority — dissolves itself in the coming months. Lawmakers from both sides of the political spectrum warned Monday that whoever becomes prime minister will have a tough task working with the existing, fractious Knesset.

Meanwhile, President Clinton said Monday that Israel and the Palestinians are "re-engaging" in peace talks, and he will try to help them reach a settlement.

The two sides, not the United States, will set the timetable for negotiations, but the Clinton administration is providing veteran mediators Dennis Ross and Aaron Miller for the talks today in Washington, officials said.

It could be a last chance for the Clinton administration to guide Israel and the Palestinians into an agreement before the president’s term ends in less than five weeks.

At the outset, U.S. mediators will meet separately today with a Palestinian delegation and an Israeli group. Three-way meetings are probable afterward, but it was not clear whether Clinton or Secretary of State Madeleine Albright would sit in.

The likely location is Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. But the State Department, traditionally secret even about logistics, would not say.

Separately, the Palestinian demand for a U.N. observer force in the West Bank and Gaza was defeated in the Security Council Monday when the United States, Russia and other key countries abstained, arguing it could jeopardize upcoming Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Palestinian supporters on the 15-member council demanded a vote, knowing in advance they faced almost certain defeat or a U.S. veto.

In the end, the United States didn’t have to exercise its veto rights because the resolution failed to muster the minimum nine "yes" votes in the council.

Copyright ©2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A sign hangs at a Taco Bell on May 23, 2014, in Mount Lebanon, Pa. Declaring a mission to liberate "Taco Tuesday" for all, Taco Bell asked U.S. regulators Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to force Wyoming-based Taco John's to abandon its longstanding claim to the trademark. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
Hepatitis A confirmed in Taco Bell worker in Everett, Lake Stevens

The health department sent out a public alert for diners at two Taco Bells on May 22 or 23.

VOLLI’s Director of Food & Beverage Kevin Aiello outside of the business on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Coming soon to Marysville: indoor pickleball, games, drinks

“We’re very confident this will be not just a hit, but a smash hit,” says co-owner Allan Jones, who is in the fun industry.

Detectives: Unresponsive baby was exposed to fentanyl at Everett hotel

An 11-month-old boy lost consciousness Tuesday afternoon. Later, the infant and a twin sibling both tested positive for fentanyl.

Cassie Franklin (left) and Nick Harper (right)
Report: No wrongdoing in Everett mayor’s romance with deputy mayor

An attorney hired by the city found no misuse of public funds. Texts between the two last year, however, were not saved on their personal phones.

Firearm discovered by TSA officers at Paine Field Thursday morning, May 11, 2023, during routine X-ray screening at the security checkpoint. (Transportation Security Administration)
3 guns caught by TSA at Paine Field this month — all loaded

Simple travel advice: Unpack before you pack to make sure there’s not a gun in your carry-on.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
To beat the rush this Memorial Day weekend, go early or late

AAA projects busy airports, ferries and roads over the holiday weekend this year, though still below pre-pandemic counts.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Troopers: DUI crash leaves 1 in critical condition in Maltby

A drunken driver, 34, was arrested after her pickup rear-ended another truck late Tuesday, injuring a Snohomish man, 28.

Housing Hope CEO Donna Moulton raises her hand in celebration of the groundbreaking of the Housing Hope Madrona Highlands on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$30M affordable housing project to start construction soon in Edmonds

Once built, dozens of families who are either homeless or in poverty will move in and receive social and work services.

A south-facing view of the proposed site for a new mental health facility on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, near 300th Street NW and 80th Avenue NW north of Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
County Council OK’s Stanwood behavioral health center

After an unsuccessful appeal to block it, the Tulalip Tribes are now on the cusp of building the 32-bed center in farmland.

Most Read