Israel unprepared for tunnel threat in 2014 Gaza war

The findings of the two-year inquiry sparked a frenzy among Israel's political establishment prior to their official release Tuesday, with critics of Netanyahu using the opportunity to slam the premier's allegedly flawed decision-making process.

Israel unprepared for tunnel threat in 2014 Gaza war

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Israeli state inquiry accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and top army brass Tuesday of being unprepared for the strategic threat of tunnels used by Hamas militants during the 2014 Gaza war.

"The political establishment, the military establishment and the intelligence bodies were aware of the tunnel threat and even defined it as strategic. And yet the actions taken to deal with the threat did not match this definition," state comptroller Yossef Shapira wrote in the report.

The report said Netanyahu and then-defence minister Moshe Yaalon did not fully share information they had on the tunnels with other members of the security cabinet, speaking instead in "sparse and general" terms.

The two men also failed to provide the ministers with "significant and essential information," necessary to make "well-informed decisions" on the situation in Gaza ahead of the war, the report said.

Netanyahu has frequently denied such claims, saying he regularly briefed colleagues on the situation.

"No cabinet in the country's history was updated more" than his wartime cabinet, he told members of his Likud faction on Monday.

Destroying the tunnels and stopping Gaza-based Palestinian militants, particularly Hamas, from launching rockets into Israel were the key declared goals of Israel's third offensive in the coastal territory in six years.

The tunnels were among the Palestinians' most effective weapons during the 50-day conflict.

Some were used by militants to infiltrate Israel and carry out deadly attacks there, while others were used to surprise Israeli forces inside Gaza.

The 2014 war killed 2,251 Palestinians and left 100,000 homeless, according to the UN. 

On the Israeli side, 74 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers.

Netanyahu accused his political opponents of bringing "petty politics and personal interests" into the realm of security.

Yaalon, who during the war was a close ally of the premier only to resign last year from Netanyahu's Likud party and political life in acrimony after a dispute, also defended his record.

"Those who played politics in the security cabinet in an unprecedented way during the war will continue to do so this week," Yaalon wrote on his Facebook page.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Mart 2017, 10:54