Benjamin Netanyahu’s three decades of political ups and downs

• Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is 73 years old. A former Mossad agent, he ran an unsuccessful campaign for prime minister in 1996. He was the leader of the ruling Likud party for three straight elections until he was unseated by Labor’s Ehud Barak in 1999. He was back in power again for just two years before his party was tossed out in the 2001 elections by Ehud Olmert’s Labor party. In 2008, Netanyahu ran as the Likud party’s candidate for prime minister against Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres.

• Israel is the sixth-largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world. The release of this greenhouse gas from fossil fuel combustion causes climate change.

• Since 1995, Netanyahu has been the target of several adverse lawsuits, alleging that he let the Mossad deploy deadly nerve agents against Palestinian militants — including against Yasser Arafat and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — in retaliation for his refusal to allow the secret-service agency to assassinate Yitzhak Rabin, Netanyahu’s chief rival for the position of prime minister. Israel’s attorney general found that some of the accusations were unsubstantiated, but the plaintiffs have continued to press their case.

• Netanyahu has said his daughter gave birth prematurely because she had an illicit relationship with one of the Palestinian leaders that Israel accused of a massacre in the Gaza Strip in 2004. The new parent, said Netanyahu, had “a very healthy pregnancy” and a normal delivery, and then her husband shot her dead. Netanyahu said he allowed her to work at a school for “distressed mothers of such newborns.”

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