State Comptroller Yosef Shapira is expected to publish a report containing sharp criticism on the conduct of the government during the counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014, it was reported Thursday evening.
The report is expected to strongly criticize Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz.
Among other things, the report describes an incident on the first day of the operation, when a Hamas terrorist tunnel was detected near the Kerem Shalom border crossing, and Gantz assured the Cabinet that Hamas does not intend to carry out attacks using tunnels. Shortly after those comments, the report alleges, four different attacks from four different Hamas tunnels were carried out.
The draft of the report also argues that Netanyahu and Ya'alon hid from the Security Cabinet the fact that the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) had warned against a confrontation with Hamas in July 2014. That information was discovered by the ministers only after the operation began.
According to a report on Channel 10, the Comptroller is expected to say in his report that Netanyahu and Ya’alon did not discuss the terror tunnels with Cabinet members until the fighting itself began, except for one discussion which took place in March 2014.
This claim is in line with the arguments of Naftali Bennett, who said during the operation that there had been no real discussion in the Cabinet on the threat of the Gaza tunnels.
Sources close to Netanyahu and Ya'alon rejected the report and said, according to Channel 2, “This is a report which is not serious and was authored by a comptroller who is not serious”, adding that they "reject it out of hand."
The sources added that the report includes false assertions and that “the operation was conducted with unprecedented transparency in front of the Cabinet, an unprecedented number of meetings were held.”
They noted that “this is the same man who presented a report on the Carmel fire without recommending the purchase of fire extinguishing planes; many forests would have been burned had we listened to him. It is too bad that the Comptroller’s associates allow leakage of information from a report that they themselves said is top secret.”