Olmert delays decision on run due to IDF strike

Former PM welcomes the Hamas leader’s death, in rare praise for Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak.

Olmert, Barak 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
Olmert, Barak 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
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 politics.
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 Ramon.
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 private meetings.
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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 trust.
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 on Iran.