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News Brief


Ehud Barak announced he is keeping the Labor Party in Israel’s coalition government.

“I’ve decided to stay,” the Israeli defense minister told reporters Sunday, ending speculation he would take Labor out of the government after the Winograd Commission of inquiry delivered its final report last week on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s conduct during the Second Lebanon War.

A Labor walkout would have undermined Olmert’s Kadima Party and possibly triggered early elections. Barak said he is staying on to continue preparing Israel’s armed forces for future confrontations.

“I know I might pay a political price for this decision,” he said.

When he was elected to lead Labor last year, Barak, a former prime minister, said he would quit the government unless Olmert resigned by the time the Winograd conclusions came out.

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