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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 January 2007, 14:45 GMT
Israeli papers slam Katsav tirade
President Moshe Katsav
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has called for Katsav's resignation

Israeli papers have stepped up pressure on President Moshe Katsav to quit over allegations of rape, after his furious denials at a press conference on Wednesday.

Commentators believe Mr Katsav's emotional performance and angry attacks on his accusers have made things worse for him, with one describing the president as "raging".

There is a consensus that Mr Katsav, who has requested leave of absence, can no longer stay in office.

YOSSI VERTER IN HAARETZ

One has to tell the truth: The media treated Katsav harshly in the last six months. Such is the media. But after yesterday's horror show at 3 President Street, it is difficult to feel any pangs of conscience.

NITZAN KIDAR IN HATZOFE

The president decided yesterday to shoulder the responsibility, at least partially, while scattering accusations in every possible direction - only not against himself. With such grave accusations hanging over his head, Katsav should have put down the keys and gone home.

AMNON DANKNER IN MAARIV

A person who says such things in such a way about the police, the attorney general and the media can be many things but he cannot be president.

EDITORIAL IN HAARETZ

If the president has indeed committed the acts attributed to him, there is no reason to expect him to begin acting honourably now. If the president has decided not to resign, there is no choice but to oust him.

DAVID HOROWITZ IN JERUSALEM POST

For some 50 minutes on Wednesday night, a raging, emotional President Moshe Katsav sprayed furious accusations. He vowed a "world war" to save his name. But this is a battle, as he now acknowledged, that Katsav, innocent or not, cannot continue to wage from the president's residence.

EDITORIAL IN YEDIOT AHARONOT

He could have ended the affair quietly, reached agreement with the attorney general, the police and even the first plaintiff and gone home. However, he decided to fight and what is he left with?

SIMA KADMON IN YEDIOT AHARONOT

The president of the state lives in a movie. But we live in a horror movie: A monstrous charge sheet hangs over the head of the president and in the Knesset they still find it difficult to depose him.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.



MIDDLE EAST PRESS PROFILES
 

SEE ALSO
Katsav rejects suspension calls
29 Oct 06 |  Middle East
Profile: Israeli President Katsav
16 Oct 06 |  Middle East
Israeli press turns on Katsav
16 Oct 06 |  Middle East
Israel faces corruption 'epidemic'
23 Jan 07 |  Middle East
Press demands that Katsav quit
24 Jan 07 |  Middle East

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