JERUSALEM (AFP) – Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is due to face motions of no-confidence in parliament on Monday, the latest backlash over a scathing inquiry into his handling of last year’s Lebanon war.
Parliament was due to debate three no-confidence motions that were lodged by both right-wing and left-wing opposition parties at an afternoon session, officials said.
Most observers do not expect the measures to pass as Olmert still enjoys the support of most of his 78-member coalition in the 120-seat chamber.
Earlier the head of the main right-wing opposition Likud party, a sponsor of one of the motions, called on Olmert to step down.
“The vast majority of Israeli opinion demands that the prime minister resign and that is also what the opposition is demanding,” former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud party would win early elections according to polls, told public radio.
“Judge Winograd’s report clearly established that the government has failed in its handling of the war” against Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia last summer, he said.
The embattled Olmert, already weakened by months of criticism over the war and a string of scandals marring his government, has refused enormous pressure from the press, the opposition and the public to resign in the wake of an interim government inquiry into last year’s 34-day war released a week ago.
The report blasted Olmert for serious failure in his handling of the conflict, and said that Defence Minister Amir Peretz and ex-chief of staff Dan Halutz failed in their posts, but stopped short of calling for resignations.
Olmert has said quitting would be irresponsible and has vowed that his government would correct the errors uncovered by the report.