Comptroller irate over leak of his damning Gaza war report
AFP, May 6 2016
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira on Friday accused senior officials of leaking his secret report on the 2014 war with Hamas in Gaza, which the Hebrew media said points to major flaws in the government’s handling of the conflict. Earlier this week, Shapira sent the highly classified draft report to Netanyahu and Ya’alon, who promptly leaked it. The Israeli media began reporting on the content of Shapira’s draft text on Thursday, and published attacks by anonymous sources described as close to Netanyahu and Ya’alon. This infuriated Shapira, whose spox Shlomo Raz said:
He particularly asked that the PM and Attorney General examine how the draft, classified top secret, was leaked by one of those reviewed.
The draft report accuses Netanyahu and Ya’alon of failing to update the security cabinet in real time of the imminent threat of war with Hamas, and not discussing the grave threat of the terror group’s attack tunnels, according to Hebrew media sources who read it. Maariv said:
Among those hit hardest in the draft is then-IDF CoS Gantz, who is exposed as a weak chief of staff who was out of touch with reality. Netanyahu is depicted as having no crisis management abilities.
Yuval Steinitz, a senior Likud minister loyal to Netanyahu, said Friday the reported findings of the report “bore no relation” to the report’s true content. Gantz on Friday slammed the leak of the report, saying he had only received it for review once it had been handed to the press. He said:
Operation Projective Edge was directed by the PM & DM in a considered, responsible and balanced manner. I regret the fact that the comptroller’s report reached me 24 hours after it reached the media.
Yediot Ahronot said:
(The draft finds that) the security establishment did not have a comprehensive plan for dealing with Hamas’s offensive tunnels.
Hamas has an extensive network of tunnels inside the Strip, including some that reach into Israel and Egypt. It has used tunnels in the past as firing positions, shelter from Israeli attack, storage of weapons and at times to enter Israel and capture soldiers. Destruction of the tunnels was cited by Israel as one of its primary goals during the devastating 2014 war. The IDF said it destroyed more than 30 tunnels during the 2014 war. Fighting on the Israel-Gaza border flared again earlier this week, when Gazans fired mortar rounds at IOF searching along the frontier and a short distance inside Gaza (sic – RB) for tunnels. IOF responded with tank shells and air strikes, killing a Gazan woman. On Friday, IAF aircraft launched strikes against the Gaza Strip in response to fresh mortar fire.