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Acting Israeli PM says Government Fully Operational Despite Sharon Health Crisis

Israel's acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has met with key members of the staff of stricken Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and says the Israeli government is fully operational.

Mr. Olmert spoke Thursday after a special cabinet session called as surgeons in Jerusalem battled to save Mr. Sharon's life, following a massive stroke.

In brief comments, Mr. Olmert called the events of the past 24 hours "a very difficult situation." But he said the fortitude of Israel will carry it through.

Attorney General Meni Mazuz said elections set for March 28 will be held on time, and said government operations will not be affected by the Sharon health crisis.

Under Israeli law, Mr. Olmert can serve as acting prime minister for up to 100 days - a provision that will allow him to lead the country through the elections.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.