Knesset committee blames IDF for war failures

Monday, December 31, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday released the findings of its investigation into the handling of last year's war against Lebanon's Hizballah terrorist militia, laying the bulk of the blame for Israel's failures in that confrontation on the army.

According to the survey, Israel's military leadership operated in an incoherent manner as the 34-day war raged along Israel's northern border, resulting in logistical errors and a lack of overall operational success. It concluded by stating that the army had since learned and properly implemented the relevant lessons.

The report almost completely ignored the political echelon's responsibility for the wartime failures, prompting army reservists who fought in the war to break into the committee meeting room and demand accountability from the government.

The reservists found support from at least two committee members, one from the right-wing Likud Party and the other from the left-wing Labor Party, who agreed that the investigation should have looked more closely at the political leadership's failures and even called for the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who only took up his current position after the war, also sided with the reservists, insisting that responsibility for how a war is started, conducted and ended lies with the government.

The Olmert-appointed Winograd Committee is expected to publish its final report on the conduct of the war in the coming days. However, Winograd panel members have said that they, too, will refrain from making personal recommendations regarding the political future of any politician involved in the mishandling of the war.

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