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War Commission Member Calls for Inquiry Over Operation

Prof. Yehezkel Dror, member of Second Lebanon War internal review team, urges Israel to conduct inquiry over Gaza operation.
By Uzi Baruch and Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 8/11/2014, 12:40 PM

Yehezkel Dror (file)
Yehezkel Dror (file)
Flash90

Professor Yehezkel Dror, a member of the 2008 Winograd Commission to investigate Israel's conduct during the Second Lebanon War, has called for a similar committee to scrutinize the IDF over Operation Protective Edge. 

"I'm not a member of the Cabinet and I have no access to classified information, so I can not give feedback or to know whether there were deficiencies," Dror stated to Channel 2 News Monday. "It is clear that there are many conclusions to draw, there are things that everyone is talking about and some you can not." 

"Do you really understand [Hamas] in depth?" he asked. "Whether the destruction of their infrastructure deters them or just makes them want to take revenge?"

"The very fact that we came to carry out this operation after Operation Pillar of Defense [in 2012] shows that we're apparently very deeply misunderstanding [them]," he added. 

Dror also said that criticism voiced by Jewish residents in the Gaza Belt against the security system's blasé attitude toward the terror tunnels is justified.

"A senior defense official was quoted as saying they knew the facts, but did not understand their meaning," Dror fired. "Whether this is true or not - it is indicative of a lack of forethought; they do not know how to connect different points into a strategy."

Dror also ripped apart the Hannibal Directive, the secret IDF directive to fire at all terrorists who appear to have taken an Israeli soldier captive to prevent the abduction - even if it means killing the soldier through friendly fire. The directive has become highly controversial over the past month, after its implementation was discovered, allegedly, to be responsible for the death of Second Lt. Hadar Goldin (hy"d).  

"The Hannibal directive caused rifle fire this time in the heart of the population, in an urban area," Dror stated, referring to heavily-populated Rafah. "Did the political leadership authorize this? Were genuine alternatives presented to the defense minister and the prime minister?"

The Professor also heavily criticized Israel's foreign relations during the past several weeks.

"The prime minister and the foreign minister did not see eye to eye, but it should not preclude integration with outside experts who can help - especially in relations with the United States," he insisted. "It is possible to disagree with the [US] Secretary of State, John Kerry - and rightly so - but it should not become a personal matter."

Dror also drew on his experiences as part of the Winograd Commission, claiming that some of the lessons of the Second Lebanon War have been implemented, but not all. 

"This time, Israel has kept its information secure, but you cannot let the IDF investigate its own operation [afterward]," he concluded, saying the point of the next internal review should "not be to find faults, but to draw conclusions."