The Israeli Cabinet has approved this morning the formation of a Governmental Inquiry Committee to investigate the performance of the political and military echelons during the war in Lebanon. The committee will be chaired by retired former Chief Justice of the Tel-Aviv District Court Judge Dr. Eliyahu Vinograd.
The committee, formed under article 8A of the Government Law, will enjoy broad judicial powers, similar to the powers given to a National Investigative Committee, including judicial privilege.
The members of the committee working under Judge Vinograd will include two academic professors: Prof. Ruth Gabizon, Prof. Ezekiel Dror, and two retired senior Israel Defense Forces officers: Maj. General (Res.) Menahem Einan and Maj. General (Res.) Dr. Haim Nadal.
Former Mossad chief Nahum Admoni, who was first nominated to chair the committee, asked to retire from the committee after he recommended that a judge head the committee in order to broaden its authorities. All members of the committee were approved by the Attorney General and were cleared of any conflicts of interest.
The measure was approved by the Cabinet with only two nay votes and one abstention. The two who voted against the committee were Labor ministers Ophir Pines and Eitan Cabel who called for a National Investigative Committee. The one abstention came from Minister Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) who was IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister for the better part of the past six and a half years.
The committee will investigate Israel’s readiness and preparation in face of the Hizballah since the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000 and the performance of both the political and military echelons during the latest war in Lebanon.