Benjamin Netanyahu is a leading member of the Likud party and served as prime minister of Israel from April 1996 to May 1999. In 2003 Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
appointed him finance minister.
Netanyahu has challenged Sharon's leadership of the Likud and many consider him the most likely candidate to replace Sharon.
Netanyahu's older brother, Yonatan, was killed during Operation Entebbe in 1976. Like both of his brothers, Netanyahu served in the elite Sayeret Matkal
unit of the Israel Defense Forces.
Netanyahu was born and raised in Israel, but spent his high school years near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he graduated from Cheltenham High School. He holds a BS in Architecture and an MS in Management from MIT.
During his military service (1967-1972), Netanyahu served in an elite commando unit. He participated in various missions durign the War of Attrition and the rescue of a hijacked Sabena Airlines plane at Ben Gurion Airport.
Netanyahu was first elected to the Knesset in 1988 and was appointed deputy foreign minister. Just eight years later, Netanyahu narrowly upset Shimon Peres
in the 1996 elections following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin.
As prime minister, Netanyahu signed the Wye Accords with the Palestinians.
Following his 1999 defeat by Ehud Barak
in the general elections, Netanyahu temporarily retired from politics.
Netanyahu is married to Sara, and is the father of Noa, Yair and Avner.
Netanyahu has published several books on politics and terrorism.