Peretz, Livni may resign following war report
Foreign Minister Livni set to meet Prime Minister Olmert Wednesday afternoon for first time since publication of Winograd report; Livni will hold press conference immediately following meeting, may announce her resignation. Defense Minister Peretz also contemplating resignation
The cabinet convened Wednesday to discuss the Winograd report on the failures of the Second Lebanon War, amidst calls on the prime minister to resign in light of the report's findings.
At the start of the meeting, Olmert restated that the conclusions of the Winograd Commission were very severe. "Immediately upon receiving the report I read it and studied it thoroughly. It reveals the very serious failings of the government and naturally of myself – as the person who is heading it," he said.
Olmert also leveled a scathing remark at his political opponents, saying, "I recommend to all those who are in a hurry to take advantage of this situation to cool down."
In the meeting, Livni demanded that Foreign Ministry officials be included in all security discussion.
"We must immediately fix the failures... We should not have waited for the (Winograd) report and we should not wait for a committee to implement its conclusions to realize that the Foreign Ministry should be included in security discussions. Foreign Ministry officials should be invited to participate in all security meetings taking place from now on," said Livni during the cabinet meeting.
On 4 p.m. Wednesday, Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni are scheduled to meet fore the first time since the report was released. Immediately following the meeting, Livni will hold a press conference where associates say she may announce her resignation, or demand that the prime minister resigns.
Meanwhile, sources close to Defense Minister Amir Peretz told Ynet that he was seriously contemplating the possibility of resigning, and that he may do so before the Labor primary elections are held at the end of the month.
In its meeting, the cabinet is set to approve the establishment of a special committee dedicated to implementing the lessons of the Winograd report regarding the failures of the Second Lebanon War.
The committee, which will be headed by former Army Chief Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, will be asked to submit to the cabinet within a month of its appointment a list of operative measures that should be carried out.
The cabinet is also expected to form a ministerial committee, headed by Olmert himself, to monitor the report's implementation.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report