After a two-and-a-half year hiatus, former interior minister Gideon Sa’ar will announce his return to politics this evening, according to Channel 2 news.
Sa’ar, who was once seen as a favorite in the battle to eventually succeed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Likud chairman, had been rumored to be considering starting a new party. The announcement, however, is set to take place at a 6.30 p.m. press conference in the Likud headquarters in the northern town of Akko, suggesting Sa’ar may be planning on mounting a challenge within the party.
Sa’ar has said that his once-close relationship with Netanyahu deteriorated after Sa’ar opposed what he deemed “undemocratic” moves by the prime minister in attempting to prevent President Reuven Rivlin from winning the presidential election in 2014. The latest announcement comes in response to the prime minister’s efforts to prevent the new public broadcaster from beginning full transmission, Channel 2 reports. The new corporation, which is now set to lose its entire news division, had hired Sa’ar’s wife Geula Even-Sa’ar as its main news anchor.
Sa’ar, 47, started off as an assistant to the attorney general before being appointed by Netanyahu as cabinet secretary. He was first elected to the Knesset in 2003, and later served as the party chairman, deputy speaker of the Knesset, education minister and interior minister.