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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Israeli minister quits over war
Israeli soldiers
About 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis were killed in the war
A member of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's cabinet has resigned in protest against Israel's handling of its 2006 war against Lebanon.

Eitan Cabel is the first member of the government to step down after a report accused Mr Olmert and his government of failures of judgment over the war.

"I cannot sit in a government headed by Ehud Olmert," Mr Cabel said, calling for Mr Olmert to resign immediately.

Mr Olmert says he intended to stay in office despite the damning report.

The responsibility is on the prime minister, defence minister and chief of staff
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Mr Cabel, who did not hold a portfolio, said Mr Olmert should resign as he had "lost the trust of the people" following the investigation.

The six-month government probe, led by retired judge Eliahu Winograd, accused Mr Olmert of "serious failure in exercising judgement, responsibility and prudence" during the war against Hezbollah.

It also accused Defence Minister Amir Peretz and then chief of staff General Dan Halutz of serious failures, but stopped short of calling for any resignations.

Israelis react to the report on the handling of the war in Lebanon

Gen Halutz has already stepped down, and Mr Olmert and Mr Peretz are under pressure.

Mr Olmert is already suffering unprecedented unpopularity levels and is expected to face calls for his resignation at a mass rally planned for Thursday in Tel Aviv.

Mr Cabel was a member of the Labour Party, the main partner in the ruling coalition with Mr Olmert's Kadima party.

About 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis were killed after Israel launched a 34-day war against Hezbollah militants who had captured two Israeli soldiers.

The two soldiers remain in captivity.




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