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Israel's PM Testifies to Commission on War Conduct


Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has testified before a government commission probing the country's conduct in the war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon last year.

The commission Thursday questioned the prime minister for several hours behind closed doors. He was the last in a series of cabinet ministers and military officers called to testify.

The commission, headed by former judge Eliyahu Winograd, was set up in September as the Israeli leadership faced public criticism for its conduct in the 34-day war in July and August.

Many Israelis have criticized the government for failing to destroy Hezbollah and gain the return of two soldiers whose abductions by the group sparked the war. Mr. Olmert's approval ratings have plummeted to unprecedented lows since the war.

The prime minister has acknowledged some failures in the action, but says that Israel won the war.

The war killed at least 120 Israeli soldiers and up to 40 civilians. On the Lebanese side, some 1,000 people perished, most of them civilians.

Mr. Olmert is also battling allegations of corruption.

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