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Olmert: Iran Building Nuclear Weapons


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says his government still believes Iran is using its nuclear program to develop "non-conventional weapons."

Mr. Olmert addressed reporters Tuesday in Berlin after a second day of talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about Iran's nuclear program and the Middle East peace process.

He said he would not rule out a military response in trying to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Tehran insists its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes.

The Israeli leader also said his government will continue to negotiate peace with the Palestinian authority under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

But Mr. Olmert vowed Israel will keep pressure on Hamas militants in Gaza.

Rocket attacks on Israel from the Palestinian enclave of Gaza began after the militant Islamic group Hamas wrested control of the coastal strip from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction in July.

Israel's responses, ranging from air attacks and military incursions to cutting off supplies to the residents of Gaza, have so far failed to stop the attacks.

Israeli troops also raided 14 Palestinian money changers across the West Bank Tuesday after accusing Hamas of using them to channel funds to Gaza. Security forces arrested five money changers and confiscated more than $800,000.

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

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