Following months of rumors, sources close to former prime minister Ehud Barak said Saturday that it was "very likely" that he would announce his candidacy for Labor Party chairman in coming weeks. "Barak knows that he must run for the Labor leadership for the good of the country," a party official close to Barak said. "He has confided in several of his close associates that he plans to run, but the news will not be made public until he decides it is time." One of those associates appeared to be National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. He could not be reached for comment by press time, but several news sources reported Saturday that he had confirmation that Barak would run for the office. A spokeswoman for Barak refused to confirm that he would run in the Labor primary, and said that he was still consulting with advisers. Before the second Lebanon war, Barak was touted as a candidate for a ministerial post or as a deputy defense minister to Amir Peretz. Israeli journalists have been trying to question Barak about his decision to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000, but the former prime minister has only spoken with foreign media, and has limited his public appearances since the war ended.