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Israeli Defense Minister Calls for Sweeping Probe of Lebanon War


The Israeli defense minister is demanding a sweeping, independent investigation of the war in Lebanon that ended last month.

Amir Peretz's call for a state commission of inquiry puts him at odds with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has called for a narrower probe of the conflict. A state commission of inquiry would have the authority to issue subpoenas and dismiss top officials.

Mr. Olmert's government has faced criticism over the month-long war in Lebanon.

The Israeli public has voiced support for an investigation into Israel's conduct of the war. A poll last week showed that most Israelis think Mr. Olmert should resign over the conflict.

Roughly 150 Israelis and 1,000 Lebanese died in the fighting.

Following Israel's 1982 war with Lebanon, Israel established a state commission of inquiry to investigate the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps.

The Kahan Commission report found that then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon was indirectly responsible for the killings, and that led to his resignation.

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

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