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Mixed responses to prospects of Peretz as defense minister
Defense officials were taken by surprise on Tuesday after hearing media reports that Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz might become the next defense minister under a new coalition with Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Kadima Party.
But while some said the appointment could endanger Israel, others hailed the move, claiming that a civilian was exactly what the defense establishment needed to make necessary reforms and confront the country's current security challenges.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz on Wednesday refused to take credit for statements reportedly made by his associates quoting him as saying that appointing Labor Chairman Amir Peretz as defense minister would be irresponsible.