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Israel's Barak to quit politics

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Israel's Barak to quit politics

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Israel’s Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has announced he’s retiring from politics.

Barak, 70, says he made the decision to dedicate more time to his family because he has “exhausted” his political activity.

“I have decided to retire from political life and not to run for the next Knesset … I will end my term as defence minister once the next government is established, in about three months,” he told a news conference.

Opinion polls had predicted a poor showing for the small party that Barak currently leads, Atzmaut, but recently indicated voter support had strengthened as a result of Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip that ended in a ceasefire on Wednesday.

A former prime minister, Barak helped implement the Oslo accords and held final status talks with the Palestinians in 2000, but his coalition government collapsed a year later.