(Reuters) - Ehud Olmert, who once described himself as “indestructible”, planned to submit his resignation as Israel’s prime minister on Sunday, although he will remain in office as caretaker leader until a new government is formed.
Here are some facts about Olmert, who faces possible criminal indictment in a corruption investigation:
* Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas relaunched Israeli-Palestinian peace talks at a U.S.-backed conference last November and agreed to try to reach an agreement on Palestinian statehood by the end of this year. Olmert also has begun indirect talks, mediated by Turkey, with Syria.
* Olmert served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993 to 2003 and used the position to champion building Jewish enclaves in Arab parts of the city. He has acknowledged taking money from a New York-based financier to fund campaigns for city hall and later for internal elections in the right-wing Likud party, but has denied any wrongdoing.
* He joined former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in leaving Likud in 2005 to form the centrist Kadima party and became leader when Sharon was felled by a stroke in January 2006. Kadima won elections two months later. Olmert refused to resign after a scathing official report on the conduct of the 2006 war against Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas.
* A keen runner, sports fan and fitness fanatic, he is now 62. His approval ratings got a boost last October when he announced he had early-stage prostate cancer but would stay on in office. He plans to have surgery to remove the growth.
* Olmert is a lawyer by profession who became Israel’s youngest member of parliament in 1973 at the age of 28. He and his artist wife Aliza have four children.
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