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Israel's Kadima Party Names Olmert Acting Chairman


Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Kadima Party has named interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as its acting chairman to lead the party into March 28 elections.

A Kadima Party statement Monday says the decision was taken because of Mr. Sharon's medical condition. The 77-year-old leader remains in a coma after suffering a massive stroke on January 4.

In another development, Israel has sent security forces to the West Bank town of Hebron following a riot by Jewish settlers protesting an eviction order for eight settler families who occupied Palestinian homes four years ago.

One Israeli soldier was wounded in the violence Saturday - the last day the families were to be allowed to leave without eviction by force.

About 400 settlers live in Hebron which has a Palestinian population of around 120,000.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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