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Israel's Olmert under attack over handling of war

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Israel's Olmert under attack over handling of war


Pressure is building on the Israeli government over its handling of the war in Lebanon, with army reservists having held a demonstration in Jerusalem.

In an open letter to a leading newspaper one Brigade said the military top brass got “cold feet” and left them in hostile territory with no clear objectives.

Military intelligence is also claimed to have been inadequate.

One soldier said: “We demand the resignation of the prime minister, the minister of defence, and the joint chiefs of staff, we want them to resign, also we want other officers that were responsible for the all faults that were in this war we expect them to resign.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is trying to sidestep calls for a full public inquiry, but left-wing politician Yossi Beilin thinks he will have to concede.

“I believe that eventually there will be a formal investigation committee, all the efforts of the government, the prime minister, the ministry of defence to bypass this option, to go for an internal committee, will fail,” he said.

On a visit to Kiryat Shmona, a border town hit by around 1,000 Hizbollah missiles during the war, Olmert was criticised for underinvestment in civil defence.

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