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War panelists seen as backing Olmert plan

Some members of a panel investigating the Second Lebanon War made comments sympathetic to Ehud Olmert’s strategies.

Channel 2 on Sunday aired previously classified sections of the Israeli prime minister’s testimony before the Winograd Commission in which three of the panelists appeared to voice support for his decision to order a late ground offensive against Hezbollah.

The offensive was intended to improve conditions for implementing a U.N.-brokered cease-fire that ended the 2006 conflict in southern Lebanon.

Opposition figures accused the Olmert government of leaking the testimony to puncture public ire at the prime minister ahead of Wednesday’s official publication of the commission’s final report.

Many Olmert critics want him to resign in light of the war’s setbacks. He has vowed to stay in office.

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