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Peretz staying on

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Amir Peretz signaled he will stay on as Israel’s defense minister.
Peretz, who along with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was heavily criticized by
a commission of inquiry into last year’s Lebanon war, said Wednesday that he
would help implement the report’s calls for military reform.

“This is
not the time for exchanging blame,” he said in a speech. “I know that this
is a time for personal reckoning, but every such calculation needs to
take into account the real interests of the State of Israel.”

Israeli media
had reported earlier Wednesday that Peretz could quit “within hours,” but his aides
said he was still weighing his next steps.

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