Former general Golan wins Israeli Labour party leadership

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's center-left Labour party elected as its new leader Yair Golan, a former general who won widespread acclaim for rescuing people during the Oct 7 Hamas attack, the party said on Tuesday.

Golan, a military reservist who formerly served as a member of parliament for the left-wing Meretz party, won 95% of the party vote.

He was hailed as a hero in Israel after he rushed on his own initiative to the area around Gaza on the morning of the Oct. 7 attack and rescued people from a music festival that had been overrun by Hamas gunmen in a deadly assault that led to Israel's massive ongoing retaliation.

The Labour party, once a dominant force in Israeli politics, has shrunk to a tiny rump, winning just four seats in the 2022 election that saw Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win an unprecedented sixth term.

In his campaign video, Golan said Israel could not continue on its current trajectory and that "together we can create an Israel that is free and democratic and strong." He invited voters to join "a journey to save the state."

(Reporting by Emily Rose; Editing by Bill Berkrot)