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Ehud Olmert defended his decision to go to war with Hezbollah a year ago. The Israeli prime minister, on a tour of the northern border Thursday to mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the Lebanon war, said the monthlong conflict improved Israel’s national security by banishing Hezbollah from its front-line strongholds. “Today, a year after the war, I am as convinced as I was on July 12 last year that we made the right decision, that this menace should once and for all be driven away from our border,” Olmert said. But in an apparent reference to Israel’s failure to recover two soldiers whose abduction by Hezbollah sparked the war, he added, “We are still far from achieving our goals. We need to work very hard and we are working very hard.”

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