Senior IDF officials believed that the terror tunnel operation during Operation Protective Edge was incomplete at the war's end, a report revealed Sunday - long before the military uncovered two terror tunnels earlier this year proving that fact.
Several officers involved in the operation spoke to Army Radio reporters early Sunday, where they stated that the blanket statements the IDF sent out at the end of the 2014 Gaza war claiming full victory were unjustified.
"There was no place to flaunt statements that the tunnels were destroyed," one officer, who asked to remain anonymous, told the news outlet.
"There was a possibility that not all of them were destroyed completely - and if so, that meant the mission of the operation, namely the destruction of 32 tunnels, was not complete. It was only partially complete."
The IDF spokesperson's office responded Sunday that top IDF officers at all levels were questioned about the operation for many hours as the war ended, and that in-depth discussions were conducted on the mission and its progress. The attempt to spread misinformation is inconsistent with the culture and freedom of opinion in the IDF, it added.
The spokesperson's office further responded with appreciation for the progress achieved during Protective Edge, "thanks to the tenacious fighting of IDF soldiers to destroy Hamas tunnels as the operation ended."
"The IDF will continue to make the terror tunnel threat top priority, and use all the intelligence, operational, and technological tools available to ensure the safety of all the residents in the South," it added.
Hindsight is 20/20
The Army Radio investigation follows a whirlwind of statements about Protective Edge and how the war was handled, nearly two years after the operation began and ended.
Questions were first raised after the IDF uncovered two terror tunnels in April and May, despite claims that all the tunnels were destroyed during the war - and despite claims that IDF deterrence would prevent Hamas from rebuilding the network.
Further controversy followed after Jewish Home chairman and current Education Minister Naftali Bennett demanded recently that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appoint a special authority to report military developments to the Security Cabinet, after reports emerged that Netanyahu, then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, and top IDF officials withheld information from the Cabinet about the tunnels until it was too late.