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Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu (Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין "בִּיבִּי" נְתַנְיָהוּ (help·info) Binyamin Netanyahu; born October 21, 1949) is the Prime Minister of Israel. He serves also as the Chairman of the Likud Party, as a Knesset member, as the Health Minister of Israel, as the Pensioner Affairs Minister of Israel and as the Economic Strategy Minister of Israel.

Netanyahu is the first and only Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the State of Israel's foundation. Netanyahu joined the Israeli Defense Forces in 1967 where he served as a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit, taking part in many missions including the hostage rescue mission from the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in 1972. He fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and achieved the rank of captain before being discharged. Netanyahu served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 to 1988, member of the Likud Party, and was Prime Minister from June 1996 to July 1999.

Netanyahu withdrew from politics after a corruption scandal related to gifts from a government contractor. In 2002 he returned as Foreign Minister (2002–03) and Finance Minister (2003 – August 2005) in Ariel Sharon's governments, but he departed over disagreements regarding the Gaza Disengagement Plan. He retook the Likud leadership on December 20, 2005. In the 2006 election, Likud did poorly, winning 12 seats. In December 2006, Netanyahu became the official Opposition Leader in the Knesset and Chairman of the Likud Party. In August 2007, he retained the Likud leadership by beating Moshe Feiglin in party elections. Following the 10 February 2009 parliamentary election, in which Likud placed second and right-wing parties won a majority, Netanyahu formed a coalition government. He is the brother of Israeli Special Forces commander Yonatan Netanyahu, who died during a hostage rescue mission, and Iddo Netanyahu, an Israeli playwright.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Binyamin Netanyahu."
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