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Edelstein backtracks, says he won’t run against Netanyahu for Likud helm

Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and then-health minister Yuli Edelstein, seen during a visit at the COVID-19 vaccination center in Zarzir, northern Israel, on February 9, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)
Then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) and then-health minister Yuli Edelstein, seen during a visit at the COVID-19 vaccination center in Zarzir, northern Israel, on February 9, 2021. (David Cohen/Flash90)

After many months of publicly stating he will compete for the helm of the opposition Likud party, MK Yuli Edelstein backtracks and says he won’t challenge longtime party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu before the upcoming elections.

“Wherever I went, I have always put the Likud movement first,” says Edelstein in a statement. “Now, when we face a critical election for the State of Israel, I cannot drag Likud into an internal fight, and I have therefore decided to retract my candidacy for the party chairmanship in the upcoming election.”

“This decision stems from a will to unite and win. In this election, we will make a change and act differently,” he adds. “Together with Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, I will lead to the national camp’s victory in the elections and to the formation of a full right-wing government.”

Edelstein has previously declared his candidacy to replace Netanyahu, citing the latter’s failure to form a right-wing government in four successive elections.

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