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Olmert. Shows concern for survivors
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Skeptical. Yishai
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Holocaust survivors should live in dignity, says Olmert
PM addresses reports on Holocaust survivors' disgraceful situation, upcoming meeting with Palestinian President Abbas. Says he will push for Shalit's release

"It's our duty to ensure that those who lived through the Holocaust will live out their lives in the dignity they deserve," said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday in response to recent reports of Holocaust survivors' dire situation.

 

At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting Olmert also adressed his upcoming meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and said that he intends to demand Abbas fight terror and stand by his commitments to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

 

Olmert made it clear that he would not discuss Jerusalem, refugees or retreating to the 1967 border in his meeting with Abbas.

 

The prime minister also referred to possible talks with Arab League countries and said, "Israel will make every effort to find a final solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There are positive aspects to the Saudi initiative. I said that we were willing to talk with any representative of Arab States. I would like to hear their initiatives, any ideas they have, just as they would hear our ideas."

 

Ministers praised Olmert for his intention to talk with Arab countries. Vice Premier Shimon Peres said that the possibility should be looked into. 

 

Health Minister Yacov Ben-Yizri said that it was worth examining what the Arab League had to offer while Housing and Construction Minister Meir Sheetrit explicitly said, "We can't wait forever. I say, let's talk to them."

 

Some ministers, however, felt otherwise. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eliyahu Yishai expressed fears that such talks would end with no results. "I'm skeptical," said Yishai.

 

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