'Comptroller overstepped authority in Protective Edge report'

Jewish Home MK says terror tunnels were known prior to 2014 Gaza op, adds Bennett urged action against them.

Yoel Domb,

MK Motti Yogev
MK Motti Yogev
Flash 90

The State Comptroller's report about the Protective Edge campaign, the level of preparedness for the tunnel threat and the conduct of the cabinet before and during the campaign is due to be published Tuesday.

In advance of the report's publication, MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home), a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said after a preliminary reading of the report that the comptroller is dealing with issues which are not relevant to him.

Yogev, a former deputy commander and chief of staff of the Gaza division, said that the content of the report was known to him for many years and that Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett was "one of those who urged action in the cabinet to remove the threat of the tunnels." Moreover he said that the "inadequate intelligence on the Gaza strip, which stemmed among other things from the disengagement, contributed to the threat's growth, since we knew too little about the threat of the tunnels, and they did not receive the proper proportion of attention in the general perspective of threats we were contending with."

Yogev also mentioned that "the Finance Minister at the time [Yair Lapid] made significant cuts in the defense budget which severely curtailed Israel's ability to prepare and to cope with all of the threats."

He added that "the developers of weapons in the Defense Ministry conceived only costly solutions and did not attempt to adopt cheap, simple and professional solutions. This is a continuous problem to this day. From the moment the prime minister received information about the level of threats from the tunnels, about half a year before the Protective Edge campaign, he ordered the defense establishment and the IDF to seek every possible solution to this threat."

Yogev said that "we in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee were updated about the threat at the time [January 2014] and we even visited one of the tunnels which penetrated Israel from the Gaza strip and were informed of the deployment of forces against them."

Yogev stressed that legitimate cabinet discussions were not part of the authority of the Comptroller and similarly the different views regarding operational actions were beyond his purview.




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