Jerusalem - A former Israeli prime minister is apologizing for the killing of 13 Arab protesters by Israeli police in 2000.

Ehud Barak, who has made a political comeback ahead of September’s elections, said Tuesday in an Israel Radio interview that “there is no place for protesters to be killed by their country’s security forces.”

Barak was responding to an op-ed written by a parliament member from the left-wing Meretz party who called on him to apologize for the October 2000 killings, which came in the opening weeks of the second Palestinian uprising, when he was serving as prime minister.

Barak’s campaign hinges on uniting liberal parties in a bid to oust Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.