Lebanon war report: Israeli minister resigns as pressure growing on Olmert to quit
Eitan Cabel, an Israeli Cabinet minister on Tuesday resigned over the Lebanon war inquiry. Cabel, a minister without portfolio from the Labor Party, announced that he was quitting in protest to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's leadership. He told reporters, "I cannot sit in a government that is headed by Ehud Olmert."
Despite findings by the Winograd Commission of inquiry on Monday that he was responsible for the failings of last year's war against Lebanese Hizbullah fighters, Olmert has vowed to stay in office.
Opposition politicians also vocalized their demands for Olmert to step down. However, few members of the governing coalition seem ready to face a new election and none of Olmert's rivals within Kadima have publicly moved against him.
According to Ynet News, Labor officials said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should eventually be replaced by Vice Premier Shimon Peres in light of the Winograd Commission’s severe conclusions. A member of the Labor party said, “An experienced person who is trusted and accepted should be running the country during this period. Livni is a political bluff and is even less experienced and qualified than Olmert, and therefore Peres should be the leading candidate to replace the prime minister.”
According to Haaretz, on Tuesday, student groups from all over Israel joined residents of the western Negev town of Sderot and army reservists for a protest march calling on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz to resign. They set out from gathering points across the country, and plan to reach Tel Aviv in time to join a national protest scheduled to take place on Thursday.