Final Israeli report on Lebanon war postponed

The conclusions of an Israeli commission of inquiry into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s handling of the Lebanon war could be published in October, two months later than expected, political sources said on Wednesday.

Final Israeli report on Lebanon war postponed
The conclusions of an Israeli commission of inquiry into Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s handling of the Lebanon war could be published in October, two months later than expected, political sources said on Wednesday.

The delay offers a reprieve for Olmert’s coalition government, as his biggest partner, Labour party chief Ehud Barak, pledged to pull out unless the prime minister resigns before the Winograd Commission’s final report comes out.

An April 30 interim report by the panel rebuked Olmert and then Defence Minister Amir Peretz for the failures of last year’s 34-day offensive against Lebanese Hezbollah, but stopped short of recommending that they resign.

Olmert, whose approval ratings sunk to the single-digits after the war, has vowed to stay on. But political analysts expect public calls for the prime minister’s ouster to redouble should the Winograd Commission’s conclusions more strongly assign blame to him.

Political sources said the final report, which was widely expected out by August, may not be completed before the Jewish high holidays begin on Sept 12. That being the case, publication could be held back until after the last festival ends on Oct 5.

Barak, a former premier and general, toppled Peretz as Labour leader this month, taking over the defence portfolio.

Political analysts believe Olmert will try to parlay the robust new partnership into progress in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, winning back public support for the government.
Last Mod: 27 Haziran 2007, 20:15
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