Former Israeli foreign minister leaves Knesset
May 1, 2012 -- Updated 1359 GMT (2159 HKT)
Tzipi Livni said her principles and values obligated her to leave.
- Tzipi Livni leaves the Knesset after losing her party leadership position last month
- She says the government isn't putting enough effort into making peace with the Palestinians
- "Israel lives on the top of a volcano and the international clock is ticking," she says
(CNN) -- Former Israeli foreign minister and opposition leader Tzipi Livni submitted her resignation from the Knesset Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters outside the parliament, Livni said, "My principles and values obligate (me) to leave the party of Kadima in the Knesset. I always said the seat was not everything. I am leaving at this stage but I am not retiring from public life"
Livni, who served as the head of the centrists Kadima Party, was defeated in a party leadership preliminary last month, losing to her party deputy and former Israel Defense Forces chief Shaul Mofaz, who took 62% of the votes to Livni's 38%.
The resignation adds another variable in Israel's quickly evolving political landscape. Earlier this week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that he was likely to seek early elections. Some of his Likud Party officials predicted that the vote might be scheduled as early as September.
Livni was a vocal and high-profile but largely ineffective opposition figure to Netanyahu's rightist coalition.
In her remarks, Livni took Netanyahu's government to task for not putting enough effort into making peace with the Palestinians. "For many years our leadership has been burying its head in the sand dealing with political tricks" she charged.
"During this time the threats to Israel have only become greater ... In order to know this we don't the need evaluation of the head of the Shin Bet," she said in an indirect reference to recent criticism the former head of Israel's internal security lodged toward the current government's foreign policy.
Livni also lambasted the Netanyahu government for not doing more to enhance Israel's global standing.
"Israel lives on the top of a volcano and the international clock is ticking," she warned, saying the existence of democracy in the Jewish state is under "a great threat"
Livni, 53, gained international prominence in 2009 as foreign minister under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
She and Defense Minister Ehud Barak spearheaded Operation Cast Lead, Israel's extensive military offense in Gaza. She also played a major role in helping end Israel's 2006 war with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.