Dan Halutz - Itzik Edri - Aug 25 2010
Dan Halutz at the symposium in Herzliya yesterday. Photo by Itzik Edri
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Former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz officially joined the world of civilian politics yesterday by becoming a member of Kadima.

It has been long anticipated that Halutz, who has raised hundreds of thousands of shekels in contributions over the past few months, would move into the political sphere. He recently held meetings with leading figures in political parties, including Kadima head Tzipi Livni.

The man who led the Israel Defense Forces into the Second Lebanon War opted to remain ambiguous about his political plans in recent weeks, even though signs pointed to him joining Kadima.

Yesterday at noon Halutz visited the Kadima headquarters in Petah Tikva and filed an application for membership. Halutz, probably estimating that elections will be held in a year, is trying to follow the Kadima rules, which require 13 months of membership in order to be elected or to vote.

Halutz will run for a spot on the Kadima ballot for the Knesset as part of the party primaries, and is expected to bolster the security-wing of Kadima against Livni's internecine rival, former Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who was appointed this week chairman of the touted Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Halutz managed to raise NIS 550,000 in political contributions during the past four months. The most recent contribution, reported to the State Comptroller, was two weeks ago for the sum of NIS 91,000.