PM: Gov't commission to have state powers

Government expected to approve Winograd inquiry committee at cabinet meeting.

The Winograd Commission of investigation into the management of the war in Lebanon will be given the same authority as a state commission, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting. "It is the government's intention to invest the committee with all the powers of a state inquiry commission, as required by law and according to the decision of the justice minister," he said. "I hope the committee will complete its task as quickly as possible and help the State of Israel better prepare itself for the challenges that await us," Olmert said. The government is expected to approve the commission's appointment at Sunday's cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, several protests were taking place across from the Prime Minister's Office, demanding nothing less than a state inquiry commission. The protesters, comprising reservists and members of the Movement for Quality Government, brought donkeys and sheep to the demonstration, while members of a separate protest bore giant effigies of Olmert, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, and IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz Since the end of the war last month, vast numbers of demonstrators have been pressuring Olmert, Peretz, and Halutz to resign.