Sep 17, 4:52 PM EDT

Israeli rising star quits politics

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- A rising political star seen as a potential successor to Israel's prime minister has announced he will quit politics in a surprise move.

Gideon Saar, Israel's 47-year-old Interior Minister, has climbed the ranks in his Likud party, finishing first in the past two primaries. Saar had often been mentioned as a possible next leader of the Likud.

On Wednesday, he said he would "take a break from political life" to spend more time with his family. He said he would step down following the Jewish holidays.

Saar is married to Geula Even, an influential anchor for Israel's state-run TV channel.

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