CBS News correspondent Robert Berger reports that Olmert's political future appears increasingly in doubt, with the head of his own party now calling on him to resign. But, Olmert's spokeswoman Miri Eisen says, "the Prime Minister thinks that he is the right person not to turn around and resign but to stand up and say, 'I made mistakes, and what we need to now is to fix them.'"
This week's report has fueled a growing chorus of calls for Olmert's resignation, including from members of his coalition government. A top lawmaker in Olmert's Kadima Party became the highest-ranking official to urge Olmert to step down, and party officials said Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, a party heavyweight, would follow suit later in the day.
The 34-day war has been widely perceived as a failure. Monday's report said Olmert bore ultimate responsibility, accusing him of poor judgment, hasty decision making and lack of vision.
A defiant Olmert opened the special Cabinet session by hinting that reports of his political demise were premature. "To those who are eager to take advantage of this report to reap certain political advantages, I suggest 'slow down,"' he said in comments broadcast on Israeli media.
Israel Radio has reported that Defense Minister Amir Peretz, also the target of fierce criticism over Israel's prosecution of the Lebanon war, may decide to resign his post as early as Wednesday.
In other developments:
Two new polls published in Israeli newspapers Wednesday said some two-thirds of Israelis want Olmert to resign immediately. The surveys indicated that the hawkish former prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu of the opposition Likud Party, would likely win handily if new elections were held.
Since the report was issued, Olmert has been scrambling to hold his coalition together. One minister from the Labor Party, the junior coalition partner, already has quit, and there have been increasing signs of eroding support within Kadima.