Barkat Endorses Netanyahu, But Not Joining Likud

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) and Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat enjoying a chat during a news conference on Monday. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (R) and Yerushalayim Mayor Nir Barkat enjoying a chat during a news conference on Monday. (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

A day after he made headlines by grappling with a terrorist at a Yerushalayim intersection, Mayor Nir Barkat endorsed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s bid for re-election, The Jerusalem Post reported.

At a Monday press conference, Barkat denied reports that he was joining Netanyahu’s Likud party, but he made it clear who he is for in the campaign.

“No, I didn’t join Likud,” he said. “I support Netanyahu. We are partnering to build the city of Yerushalayim and I think he is the best prime minister for the state of Israel.”

Netanyahu praised Barkat for his “impressive courage” in helping, along with his security guards, to subdue the terrorist, saying he prevented a greater tragedy from occurring.

He noted it was not the first time Barkat had acted bravely in a crisis. Eleven years ago, the mayor helped evacuate victims from a bus that was targeted by a terror attack, administering first aid and saving the life of a woman.

Barkat thanked Netanyahu for the help he has given to the capital over the years.

“There is no doubt, terror is not a problem for Yerushalayim only, it is a worldwide problem that must be met with a forceful hand,” he said.

Meanwhile on Monday, security forces raided the home of Mahmud Abu Usba, the terrorist who stabbed Avraham Goldschmidt, an avreich from Betar Illit. Usba was arrested at the scene and remains in police custody.