Israeli PM stays on job after war report

Updated: 2008-01-31 16:15

Barak's aid said that the defense minister does not intend to respond to the report at this time. Barak had also in the past promised to demand that Olmert be replaced following the report's publication.

On Monday, Barak said "I can promise you one thing, and that is that I will make a decision according to what is best for the State of Israel."

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Israeli army reservist soldiers that served in the war and bereaved families who lost their close ones in combat on Wednesday protested outside Barak's house in Tel Aviv, reiterating their demand for him to fulfill his promise to resign from the government.

Labor MK Ophir Pines-Paz also called the report "very severe," adding that the war was a "colossal failure." The Labor MK, who has repeatedly called on Olmert to resign, is an advocate for Labor to quit the coalition.

Meretz Chairman Yossi Beilin said his party would "continue to demand that Olmert end his term, all the more so in the wake of the report."

"The final Winograd report strengthens the impression that critical decisions on Israel's future were made without proper judgment," Beilin said.

A 34-day-long fighting between Israel and Lebanese Hezbollah guerillas erupted on July 12, 2006, following the abduction of two Israeli soldiers by the Shiite group.

It ended on Aug. 14, 2006 under a UN-brokered resolution. More than 110 Israeli soldiers and over 1,200 Lebanese were killed in the conflict.

The Winograd final report came nine months after an interim inquiry found Olmert and other political and military leaders responsible for "severe failures" in the war.

Of the three senior leaders harshly criticized in the preliminary report-- Olmert, former Defense Minister Amir Peretz and former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, Olmert is the only one who still hangs on to his job and refuses to resign.

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