TEL AVIV (Mar. 30)
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations since 1984, announced his resignation in Jerusalem Wednesday night to run for election to the Knesset.
The 38-year-old envoy told a television interviewer he wanted to enter political life and was leaving his post earlier than expected because of the mandatory 100-day waiting period between resignation from government service and filing for election to the Knesset.
Netanyahu’s resignation was expected, but not until this summer. He said he would be returning to New York “merely to pack my bags and then return home.”
The Israeli envoy said he hoped he would be considered by Likud for a place on its election list. Knesset elections are scheduled for next November.
In New York, the Israel Mission to the United Nations confirmed Netanyahu’s resignation Wednesday. A spokesperson for the mission said Ambassador Johanan Bein would serve as acting permanent representative of Israel to the would organization.
News of Netanyahu’s resignation came as a surprise to diplomats, observers and the news media at the United Nations.
(United Nations correspondent Yitzhak Rabi contributed to this report.)