State Comptroller report
Only Bennett demanded the destruction of terror tunnels

State Comptroller writes government failed to take tunnel threat seriously, withheld essential information from ministers.

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Gary Willig,

Terror tunnel
Terror tunnel
Reuters

State Comptroller Yoseph Shapira published two significant chapters from his report on Operation Protective Edge Tuesday.

The report claims that the Israeli government was unprepared to deal with the threat of Hamas' terror tunnels.

According to Shapira, the officials in the government and the intelligence chiefs who knew of the tunnel threat failed to take the threat seriously enough or to adequately prepare to deal with the tunnels prior to the war, and even when the government began to take the tunnel threat seriously, it's actions came too late.

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

Shapira also accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon of failing to provide the Cabinet minister with "significant and essential information" in order to make "well-informed decisions."

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied allegations that Cabinet Ministers were kept in the dark during the fifty day conflict.

Shapira noted that only Education Minister Naftali Bennett called for the destruction of the terror tunnels early on. In the transcripts from the Cabinet meetings, Bennett confronted Ya'alon about the need for the ministers to be provided with more and higher quality information.

During a Cabinet meeting on June 30, 2014, which took place over a week prior to the launching of Operation Protective Edge, Bennett brought up the tunnel threat, "There are today dozens of existing tunnels which connect Gaza to the southern part of the country. These tunnels are designed for kidnapping ... this strategic threat is only waiting to be realized."

The meeting took place during Operation Brothers Keeper, when Israel was searching for three teenagers who had been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in Judea and Samaria. The boys were later found murdered.

The IDF discovered and destroyed 32 terror tunnels during Operation Protective Edge. 74 Israelis were killed during the conflict, including six civilians.








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