Why Did Government Dally on Terror Tunnel Threat?

State Comptroller ordered to investigate decisions in operation on Hamas tunnels, as Danon decries fiasco 'everyone knew about.'

Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Flash 90

MK Amnon Cohen (Shas), chair of the Knesset's State Control Committee, ordered State Comptroller Yosef Shapira on Wednesday to investigate the government and Security Cabinet's decisions during Operation Protective Edge - with a special emphasis on readiness for Hamas's terror tunnels.

In a committee meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Cohen argued that the whole government, and in particular the Cabinet, knew very well about the threat of Hamas attack tunnels entering Israel long before Operation Protective Edge.

Indeed, one tunnel described by the IDF as new and advanced was discovered as early as March, well before the operation began in July.

In fact the State Comptroller wrote a report about the tunnels a full eight years ago said Cohen, while adding that the security system had come "a serious part of the way" in confronting the threat.

In the meeting which was closed to media, Shapira said he is preparing a special report on the topic that will be published in the coming months. Cohen requested that he include the management of the security system, the IDF, intelligence sources and the military industries through Operation Protective Edge.

He also told Shapira to investigate the decisions of the government and Security Cabinet - along with any potential leaks, in a reference to the recent storm around Economics Minister Naftali Bennett.

Cohen stressed that the security system must act to secure the safety of residents of the south.

That statement comes as many residents of the Gaza Belt are fleeing the region amid fears of a Hamas attack on the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashana), after the ceasefire was breached on Tuesday and reports indicate Hamas continues to dig terror tunnels.

It is worth noting there has been a general lack of trust of the government among residents of the region, along with widespread Israeli opposition to the ceasefire as found in recent polls which has accompanied a sharp nose-dive in approval ratings for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"The terror tunnel threat was known to all"

MK Danny Danon (Likud) spoke about the terror tunnel threat on Wednesday, and particularly the government decision to agree to a ceasefire with Hamas early in the operation before over 30 terror tunnels were discovered and destroyed.

"That was the worst decision of the current government," assessed Danon, who was dismissed from his post as deputy defense minister by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the operation for his criticism of the move.

"The concerns held by me and a portion of the Cabinet members of the July 15 ceasefire when the threat of the tunnels was known to everyone caused me and part of the Cabinet to call out against the foreseeable fiasco," said Danon.

Indeed, the tunnels were used lethally against IDF soldiers by Hamas as it breached the ceasefire.

"I did not stay silent and stated my opinion that agreeing to a ceasefire and leaving the terror tunnels under (Gaza) Belt communities is to leave a ticking bomb in the hands of terror organizations," concluded Danon.




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