Former prime minister Ehud Olmert returned from a lengthy American speaking tour
on Wednesday night amid speculation that he would soon announce his return to
But the news of the targeted killing of Hamas military wing
chief Ahmed Jabari, which Olmert received upon arrival at Ben-Gurion Airport,
caused him to postpone meetings with former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, her
successor Shaul Mofaz, and former Kadima council chairman Haim
Olmert welcomed the Hamas leader’s death, in rare praise for Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
“Jabari is a
terrorist whose hands were soaked in blood,” Olmert said. “His assassination is
an accomplishment for our security forces. Naturally, I will not deal publicly
with the question of my return to politics.”
He did not rule out holding
Kadima leaders have been pressuring Olmert in recent
weeks to run with them for the Knesset, amid polls indicating that the party
might not pass the 2-percent electoral threshold.
Livni is more likely to
return to politics if Olmert decides not to run. Sources close to her said she
would feel uncomfortable running under him due to his conviction for breach of
The State’s Attorney’s Office decided last week to appeal Olmert’s
acquittals in the so-called Talansky and Rishon Tours scandals, as well as his
light sentence for breach of trust.
Kadima decided on Wednesday to
suspend its election campaign, which accuses Netanyahu of being too trigger-happy