The Labor Party will hold its ninth leadership race since 2001 on July 2nd, after chairman Avi Gabbay announced on Sunday that he would initiate the race. Gabbay said his party’s executive committee would meet on Tuesday to approve his proposal to hold the leadership race “as soon as possible,” but that there would not be elections for Labor’s Knesset list for the September 17 elections, which will stay the same.Labor MKs have criticized Gabbay for negotiating with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on entering his government before elections were initiated on Wednesday night. But Gabbay has vigorously denied claims by MK Shelly Yacimovich that she immediately rejected Labor joining the coalition.“When she said that, all the polygraphs in Israel beeped, including those that were not connected to electricity,” Gabbay told Army Radio. “Shelly didn’t say no. She sat with [Likud negotiating team head] Yariv Levin after. Shelly told me she didn’t think agreements can be reached because Netanyahu will trick us, that we don’t have a political operator who could make such a deal, and that I don’t deserve the top portfolio. None of these indicate her answer was no.”Yacimovich responded that Gabbay should stop attacking his MKs and maintain his own self-respect and what is left of the party’s. Labor MK Itzik Shmuli, who Gabbay said only rejected the Likud offer the third time he met with him, said: “My blood is boiling but I will not say more.”Former Labor MK Eitan Cabel said all of Labor’s current MKs are “part of the crime” for not helping him oust Gabbay, and that the party needed primaries to elect its candidates for the Knesset in the new election.