JERUSALEM: Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Saturday that he will resign after a commission criticized his handling of the war in Lebanon last summer, but not now.
Aides to Peretz have said that he was going to step down after the Winograd Commission found that Peretz did not fulfill his duty as defense minister, in part due to his inexperience in military matters.
Peretz told Channel Two TV Saturday that he would leave his post, probably after primaries in the Labor Party he leads, at the end of the month.
"I have made my decision," Peretz said. "But I think if I decided from one day to the next to get up and flee the defense ministry, I would be doing something bad, bad for the security and the state of Israel."
The government probe of the 34-day war found that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was responsible for "very severe failures" in the conflict. Had Olmert, Peretz or then-army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz acted differently, the outcome of the war would have been better, the commission found.
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