August 25, 2006

Most Israelis want prime minister to resign: poll

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Sixty-three percent of Israelis want
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign in a sharp public backlash
over his handling of the war in Lebanon, a newspaper poll
showed on Friday.

The Yedioth Aronoth, Israel's biggest circulation
newspaper, called the poll a political "earthquake" for the
Olmert government.

A career politician who lacks the combat credentials of
many of his predecessors, Olmert has seen his public standing
decline sharply for failing to deliver a fatal blow to

The Yedioth poll for the first time showed a majority -- 63
percent -- favoured Olmert stepping down.

In addition to calling for Olmert's resignation, 74 percent
of respondents said Defense Minister Amir Peretz should go and
54 percent want army chief Dan Halutz to step down, the poll

An Aug 16 poll published by Yedioth showed 41 percent of
Israelis wanted Olmert to resign and 57 percent wanted Peretz
to go.

At least 1,110 people in Lebanon and 157 Israelis were
killed in the conflict.

Except for Israel's ongoing conflict with the Palestinians,
Israel suffered heavier civilian casualties in the Lebanon
conflict than in any fighting since the war at the creation of
the Jewish state in 1948.