Comptroller’s report criticizes Netanyahu over threats from Hamas terror tunnels

Israel’s state comptroller determined that Netanyahu failed to sufficiently inform his cabinet of the severity of Hamas’ underground tunnel network before launching Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

Israeli State Comptroller Joseph Shapira published the long-awaited report on the government’s handling of Operation Protective Edge, which was launched in the summer of 2014 against the Hamas terrorist organization controlling the Gaza Strip.

At particular issue in the report is the apparent failure on the part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, along with the IDF’s previous chief of staff, Benny Gantz, to make the necessary preparations for responding to the threat of Hamas’ underground tunnels running into Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The report said that Netanyahu and Yaalon had presented the threat only “in general and limited statements which were insufficient to clarify the severity of the threat and to establish the necessary level of awareness for the rest of the cabinet.”

The report also said that Netanyahu, Ya’alon and Gantz consequentially failed to consult with the cabinet on preemptively eliminating the tunnel threat.

It thus suggests that many of Netanyahu’s ministers were left in the dark about the tunnel threat and discovered the extent of the problem more than several days after the IDF launched Operation Protective Edge, when it was already too late to contain the problem effectively.

In addition, the report adds, the IDF completely “destroyed or neutralized” only half of the tunnels designated as requiring “treatment.” The other half was either damaged or left in working order.

“The IDF… thus did not complete its mission,” the report states.

Approximately 74 Israelis were killed during Operation Protective Edge, 68 of whom were IDF soldiers.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News