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War report findings ease pressure on Israel's Olmert

War report findings ease pressure on Israel's Olmert
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An Israeli government-appointed inquiry has found “grave failings” among the country’s political and military leaders during the 2006 Lebanon war against Hezbollah.

But the report may ease pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign. It has concluded found that his controversial decision to approve a ground offensive in the last days of the conflict was, in principle, “practically essential”.

Inquiry chairman Eliahu Winograd, a former judge, said Olmert acted on an “honest assessment” of Israel’s interests. “There will be those who may use our findings to hurt Israel and its army,” said panel member Ruth Gavison. “We nonetheless point out these failures and shortcomings because we are certain that only in this way Israel may come out of this ordeal strengthened.”

Olmert plans to implement the report’s recommendations, according to a statement issued by his office.