TEL AVIV, Israel--Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barack announced that he is retiring from politics and won't run in elections scheduled for Jan. 22.
"I will conclude my term as defense minister with the formation of the next government in another three months," Barak, 70, said at a press conference at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv today. "My decision to resign comes from a desire to spend more time with family," Barak said, adding he could serve the country in other ways outside politics.
Barak is a former prime minister and army chief.
The announcement comes less than a week after Israel reached a cease-fire agreement with Hamas that ended an eight-day military operation to stop rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he respects Barak's decision and "appreciates his contribution of many years to Israel's security," according to a text message from the prime minister's office.
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