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Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is being tried on charges of corruption that allegedly occurred while he was Jerusalem's mayor and later a Cabinet member. Olmert maintains his innocence, claiming a three-year smear campaign forced him to resign as prime minister a year ago.

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Both Israel and Hamas vowed to stop fighting two weeks ago, but since then attacks have continued Before his country launched airstrikes on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had warned Hamas of a "disproportionate Israeli response" to Hamas rocket and mortar attacks Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, is headed to Cairo, though his influence is surely weakened by the recent fighting.

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The assault on Gaza exposed not only Israel’s callous disregard for international law but the gutlessness of the American press. Nearly all reporters were, as during the buildup to the Iraq war, pliant stenographers and echo chambers.

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The BBC reports: "Any Israeli soldiers accused of war crimes in the Gaza Strip will be given state protection from prosecution overseas, the country's PM has said." At issue is Israel's use of white phosphorous, a chemical agent that is not permitted in densely populated areas because it sticks to and severely burns human tissue.

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Now that the war in Gaza has ground to a halt, local and international groups are assessing the needs of tens of thousands of embattled and displaced Palestinians, some of whom have gone for many days without water or power, and are preparing to send aid as soon as possible.

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Shortly after Israel declared a unilateral cease-fire in Gaza, Hamas followed suit with its own separate announcement. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would withdraw troops "as soon as possible," and Hamas said it would give Israel a week to do just that.

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The military is far too accustomed to getting its way, so it was refreshing to see Barack Obama reject the Pentagon's sluggish withdrawal plan. But will he stand up to Israel, whose Prime Minister Olmert recently bragged about pulling the American president's puppet strings?

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Once again, the cease-fire is off between the Israelis and Palestinians, and even though the United Nations has again weighed in with Security Council Resolution 1850, which supports a two-state solution, the new measure is not likely to change things in the near future. Over to you, Mr. President-elect.

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Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert isn't exactly popular these days. Forced to resign in disgrace, it may have been with the weight of politics leaving his shoulders that he let loose during an interview with an Israeli newspaper. Among other revelations, Olmert said his country was stuck in a 1948 mind-set and must now give up virtually all contested territory -- including Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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The Guardian is reporting that outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought and was denied President Bush's blessing for an airstrike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Bush was reportedly concerned that Iran would retaliate against U.S. targets in the region and that the benefits of such an attack would be insufficient.

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