DEBKAfile was founded by a team of journalists in June 2000 as an independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service. February 28, 2017, 5:34 PM (IDT)
The controversial report by State Comptroller Joseph Shapiro on the 2014 Gaza war, released Tuesday, criticizes the security cabinet for failing to address the terror tunnels issue, although it was rated a security peril in 2013. Furthermore, because the IDF was not given clear strategic missions, the military set its own objectives.
Failed grades were issued to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Moshe Yaalon and Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, then respectively defense minister and chief of staff, as well as the National Security Council.
Shapiro found that the cabinet was not explicitly briefed on the tunnel threat, although concealment may not have been deliberate. The three persons cited did not ascertain that the IDF had prepared a plan for dealing with the tunnels during combat. The Shin Bet and IDF knew long before Operation Defensive Edge that aerial strikes alone cold not destroy the tunnels and in fact would impede the ground troops by piling up debris in the way of their destruction. Yet Ya’alon, when asked about this by cabinet member Naftali Bennett (education minister), recommended attacking the tunnels from the air.
The state comptroller states that in the 2014 operation, IDF ground and air forces came to a battlefield rife with hidden tunnels, completely unprepared for dealing with them – whether by methods or the right equipment. Yet the soldiers and their officers fought valiantly by summoning up courage, resourcefulness and initiative for doing what they could to overcome this unforeseen added menace.
The security establishment was rapped for omitting to provide adequate security for the civilians within range of the Gaza operation. Instead of ramping up the resources for protecting them ahead, those resources including the number of troops on duty in civilian areas were cut back, denying them a sense of security.
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