‘Irresponsible politicians leaked Gaza report’

May 6, 2016  

Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday responded to the leaking of information from State Comptroller Yosef Shapira’s damning report on the counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

According to reports on Thursday, Shapira is expected to strongly criticize Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz for their conduct during the operation, particularly with regards to the threat from Hamas’s underground terror tunnels.

The sources rejected the criticism in the report and said, “Operation Protective Edge was handled with responsibility and discretion, and struck the hardest blow to Hamas since its inception. The time period since Protective Edge has been the quietest for the communities in the Gaza Belt since 2000.”

They further claimed that “the draft of the report was leaked and distorted by interested parties, including irresponsible politicians who were members of the Cabinet, who know the truth but prefer to distort it for political purposes.”

The sources also added that the contents of the draft “will surely change in the final report, after the state submits its responses to the draft.”

“Without going into the details of the report, even the Comptroller points out that the Prime Minister recognized the threat of the tunnels as a major threat long before the operation and instructed all the relevant systems to thwart any threat.”

Earlier on Friday, Yisrael Beytenu chairman and former Foreign Minister MK Avigdor Liberman blasted the government, declining to address the report’s exact contents but making clear the criticism is well-deserved.

“The current government of the State of Israel, headed by Ya’alon and Netanyahu, is a leadership which runs away from responsibility, and cannot guarantee the security of Israeli citizens,” he fumed.

“Beyond the failure to lead during the operation, which I warned them about in real time, the response of the PM – who himself made sure [Shapira] was elected by force – demonstrates that Netanyahu is once again expert at pinning responsibility on others.”

Gantz, for his part, attempted to bring calm over the report, saying, “We need to do this calmly and responsibly – there’s no need to be dragged into the headlines. I regret that a draft of the report reached the media before [it reached] the relevant officials.”

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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